In my final installment of honoring both Autoimmune Disease Awareness and Women’s History month, some people I consider the rock stars of advocacy.
First up: MarlaJan Wexler-Gormley from Luck Fupas. I met MarlaJan at a Wego Health conference in which she was the Conference Host and featured speaker. Her health issues are quite overwhelming ranging from Heart disease diagnosed as an infant, lupus, and breast cancer. The first time I heard Marla speak I was amazed at her ability to make her audience laugh, cry, and think about the patient perspective. Her voice is especially powerful when she advocates for children who may experience PTSD after medical treatment. Through the years, Marla and I have spoken together on several panels. Each time, I watch as an audience of professionals including doctors, researchers, patients, and big pharma reps listen to her story, I feel inspired. MarlaJan is the real deal. Her powerful story and voice reaches people who need to hear it. She gives patients hope, doctors, big pharma, and researchers something to think about, and she inspires her fellow advocates to join her to push for patient rights. Her voice is not only strong, it is needed by many. I’m proud to know MarlaJan.
Next up is Eileen Davidson. I followed Chronic Eileen for a while online before meeting her. I loved her social media posts that range from humorous to thought provoking. Eileen is one of the most honest advocates in terms of her experiences. She doesn’t sugarcoat a lot and because of that, her voice has become very powerful in the Rheumatoid Arthritis Community. Eileen writes from her heart and her articles connect with patients around the world. She turns her passion into action by participating in research projects, volunteering for several Arthritis organizations (Including AiArthritis!), and she is now starting a support group in her community. I was happy to finally meet Eileen in person this past year and hear her present at the American College of Rheumatology.
Now I’d like to make some honorable mentions of fellow women health advocates that I find to be simply amazing who also inspire me:
Cathy Chester, an MS advocate and an amazing person. Her posts are inspiring. Check out her website: Living an empowered life with Multiple Sclerosis
Sheryl Chan from A Chronic Voice. Her blog aims to “articulate a life filled with chronic illness through various perspectives”. She is not only a fantastic blogger, she is the first to share and support other bloggers. I’m beyond impressed by her dedication and advocacy.
Cheryl Crow from Arthritis Life is one of the most positive and prolific voices for arthritis. I met Cheryl years ago at an ACR event and as so impressed by her. Cheryl is not only an amazing voice that hosts podcasts featuring other advocates, but she also does short videos for Global Healthy living. These videos often feature ways to adapt every day activities to make them simpler. As an occupational therapist, she has great insight and in my opinion is a must follow!
Please check out all of these advocates by clicking on the embedded links. You won’t be sorry.
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