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Congratulations to the 2016 WEGO Health Activist Award winners! These passionate and motivated individuals are certainly creating change in the healthcare landscape!

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in our #HAAwards celebration this week. The WEGO Health team had a blast ‘hanging out’ with you all week. We are so grateful to be part of all of your advocacy journeys and we could not ask for a more dedicated and passionate community!

Our Twitter Chats this week were an absolute blast. We had so many community members offering tips, tricks and tactics that it was almost a challenge to keep up! Don’t worry, we’ll be compiling a document of all the advice we received. We’ll send it out to our network once it’s done!

For those of you who missed out on any of the webinars, we will be posting all of the recording on our blog. Be sure to check back in.

And of course, be sure to fill out your WEGO Health Profile so we can find the best opportunities for you and your community!

And now, we’d like to present our 2016 WEGO Health Activist Award Winners!

 

Best in Show Community: Ronny Allan

Advocating for Another: Tory Aquino

Lifetime Achievement: Barby Ingle

Best in Show: Twitter: Tiffany Kairos

Hilarious Health Activist: The Frey Life

Rookie of the Year: Amanda Siebe

Health Activist Hero: Jessica Gimeno

Best in Show: Youtube: Louise Glover

Best Kept Secret: Lisa Cypers Kamen

Best in Show: Instagram: Renee Eastwood

Best in Show: Facebook: Aaron Blocker

Best in Show: Pinterest: Sara Ringer

Best Team Performance: International Pain Foundation

Best in Show: Blog: Bob DeMarco

 

Congratulations to all of the nominees, finalists and winners! Together, we can create the change we wish to see in healthcare!

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Today Shane interviews the finalists of Best Kept Secret, Hilarious Health Activist and Advocating for Another!

 

 

 

 


profile-picture-with-micShane Schulz is the Creator and Host of the Arisen Strength Motivational Podcast and the Founder of the Speaking to the Heart Radio Network. Using his experiences and strengths to help others who are more like him than different be More than the challenges they face!

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Click HERE for the full chat.

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Listen to Shane as he talks to the finalists for Best in Show: Facebook and Best in Show: Community!

 

 


profile-picture-with-micShane Schulz is the Creator and Host of the Arisen Strength Motivational Podcast and the Founder of the Speaking to the Heart Radio Network. Using his experiences and strengths to help others who are more like him than different be More than the challenges they face!

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Click HERE for the full chat

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Click HERE for the full chat

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chronicchristmas-coverAdvocating for chronic illness is a year-round job, one we do with passion and dedication. But advocacy can get more challenging during the holidays. It’s a busy and sometimes emotional time of year and there’s only so much energy to go around.

My new book Chronic Christmas: Surviving the Holidays with a Chronic Illness is an Advent calendar of tips to help you savor the season. When writing it, I wanted to not just deal with things you can do yourself to enjoy the holidays, but something more, as well.

So much of living well with chronic illness has to do with the reactions and support we get from others. That’s why I included a section in each chapter for friends and family who want to help, but may not be quite sure how to do that. In these, I shared information about the reality of living with chronic illness to explain why certain types of help may be a better choice than others. It is my hope that reading Chronic Christmas will help your loved ones have a better understanding of life with chronic illness and in so doing, be better able to contribute to your quality of life.

Navigating this season with a chronic illness and the desire to create change is a physical and emotional challenge. Other than thrusting my book at all and sundry (joking… maybe), what can you do to advocate for yourself and others this holiday season? Here are a few suggestions.

Dealing with difficult people

We all know them. That person who makes a beeline for us at social events, ready to share esoteric techniques bound to cure our chronic illness. This type of diet, that type of home remedy, and their hairdresser saw something on the Internet about leeches. You could roll your eyes and walk away, but you could also seize the moment and give solid information about your illness and its appropriate treatment. Don’t wait to get cornered — this type of situation can feel emotionally fraught when you’re dressed for a party and there to have fun. Preparing what to say before going out helps you click into health activist mode when needed.

A baking brigade

Have you ever heard of a cookie exchange? This can be a wonderful time and energy saver. You collect a group of people, each of whom makes half a dozen or a dozen cookies. Then you get together, share the treats, and everyone goes home with a variety. Being part of a cookie exchange is also a great way to share information about the impact of trigger foods. Find out which kinds of sensitivities and allergies are present in the participants and their families. When the instructions go out, make sure you include information about the consequences of eating such foods, as well as ways for food be safe.

Say hello

Living with a chronic illness can be a very isolating experience. Pain and fatigue makes you turn inward and block out the world around you. One of the suggestions in my book is to deliberately engage with the world around you. Turn off the music, put the phone in your pocket, and look up. And then start talking to the people you meet. The barista at the coffee shop, the homeless guy on the corner, the person next to you on the train. Smalltalk can lead to deeper conversations where it may be natural to talk about chronic illness.

Chronic illness advocacy can take a variety of forms, from big to small. You may not have the energy or to testify to Congress, but there are opportunities in your everyday life to educate and advocate. Often, those small moments have ripple effects. You talk to one person, they talk to their friends, and the message moves.

For the days when you are feeling exhausted and wish you could do more, remember this one thing: when you create change in your life, you change the world.


lene-andersen-2Lene’s new book is Chronic Christmas: Surviving the Holidays with a Chronic Illness. She’s also the author of Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tools for Managing Treatment, Side Effects and Pain, 7 Facets: A Meditation on Pain, and the award-winning blog The Seated View.

 

 

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Listen to Day 2 of the #HAAwards podcast as Shane talks with our finalists for Best in Show: Community & Blog!

Be sure to listen to all of Shane’s podcasts here!


profile-picture-with-micShane Schulz is the Creator and Host of the Arisen Strength Motivational Podcast and the Founder of the Speaking to the Heart Radio Network. Using his experiences and strengths to help others who are more like him than different be More than the challenges they face!

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Click HERE for the full chat

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Join us live from the 5th WEGO Health Activist Awards red carpet!

 

Shane Schulz, the creator and host of the Arisen Strength Motivational Podcast and the founder of the Speaking to the Heart Radio Network will be interviewing our 2016 WEGO Health Activist Awards finalists all week long!

Each day Shane will be releasing an interview with the finalists for the award categories being announced that night.

These finalists are true leaders of their community and utilizing the online platform to get their voice heard! Be sure to tune in all week!

Check out the Day 1 #HAAwards Podcast now and be sure to go and listen to Shane’s other podcasts as well.

 


profile-picture-with-micShane Schulz is the Creator and Host of the Arisen Strength Motivational Podcast and the Founder of the Speaking to the Heart Radio Network. Using his experiences and strengths to help others who are more like him than different be More than the challenges they face!

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