I met Tessa in college through mutual friends when I was looking for someone else with shared experience for a life-long chronic disease that I won't name here in case the family would like to keep that private. I had just been diagnosed at 18 the summer before college and we bonded instantly over this that first year and became somewhat of a support group for each other. I remember Tessa being one of the most genuinely kind person I might have ever met at that time. I was taken aback by how caring and emotionally attune she was. She really made me feel much less alone that first year at a time I was feeling so isolated and different. She gave me so much hope at a time I needed it, she was not at all jaded from the condition and had such a great attitude about life that gave me something to aspire to. I really cannot express how important that framing was for me. I hope she knew how much she helped me that first year. Thank you, Tessa.
We fell out of touch after that first year, but I was so shocked and sorry to hear of her passing. My heart goes out to her friends and family, even only knowing her for a short time, I could easily see how much of a light she was for so many people.