As the Digital Content Specialist for the Infusion Access Foundation (IAF), my job is to help guide the communications and content strategy for the organization, both internally and externally. I bring not only my professional background in writing, design, video, and creative strategy, but also my personal experience as a patient, to craft meaningful content that empowers our patient community. My background in healthcare and communications motivates me to fight to ensure all patients receive the care and support they deserve.
In late 2015, during my freshman year at college, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the age of 18. My diagnosis changed my life significantly. Instead of partying at college ragers, I raged at being sick under the covers of my bed. My life became a nightmarish roller coaster of pills, pain, and pressure.
At first, it was easy to feel alone and trapped. I blamed life for not giving me, at the very least, a barf bag. Simply put, I could only see steep drop and dips ahead of me. I lost 20 pounds, became anemic, and watched myself dissolve.
Then one day I looked up. I saw that I didn’t have to be alone anymore. I started to reach out to my community, and I wasn’t alone. Quickly, I embraced the ride. I accepted the twists and turns as part of my journey. I started making the most of every moment, overcame my needle phobia, and fought back.
Living Life Beyond Chronic Illness
Today, I know that my Ulcerative Colitis cannot stop me from achieving great things. I am a member of the National Council of College Leaders for the Crohns and Colitis Foundation. I am a member of Improve Care Now’s Patient Advisory Committee. I’ve gone hanggliding in the French Alps, unicycled in Mardi Gras Parades, and juggled at music festivals. But most importantly, I’ve learned to share my story and advocate for the patient community and make the most of my roller coaster ride of a life.
I know I’ll never give up or quit fighting. That is my “Why.” Now tell me yours!