This is insightful and a lovely metaphor. I see yet another meaning in the story: with adversity (illness) comes an opportunity to transform ourselves and become a better person. It is a call to greatness. In the end, Mary Anne embraces her transformation and carries on living a life that is entirely different, and yet, as meaningful as it was before her predicament. Illness gives us a unique opportunity to become self-aware and explore all that we are capable of becoming — if we’re willing to accept the challenge. It can be a blessing in disguise.