I’d like to introduce you to Hilarious Health Activist Finalist and MS Health Activist – Christie Germans! Christie blogs over at The Lesion Journals and brings humor along with her glimpse into life with Multiple Sclerosis. She balances lighter content with educational posts and resources for those in her community. It’s clear that she enlightens her followers simultaneously through her own courage and sense of humor (check out her video on Staying Positive With MS – hint: Christie’s answer is laughter). In true Health Activist spirit, Christie brings honesty and dedication to “explor[ing] what it means to live with this neurological disease” right alongside some really helpful factual information (check out the comprehensive navigation bar on her blog). We’ve enjoyed getting to know Christie and hope you will too. Now, let’s hear more about her in her own words…
I’d like to introduce you to TMI Award Finalist, and Health Activist – Wendy Holcombe! Wendy is a Chronic Illness Health Activist who blogs over at Picnic With Ants. Nominated for her honest approach to blogging, Wendy chronicles all her “ants” (chronic illnesses) with a unique voice that really resonates with her readers. She openly commits to telling “some of the most embarrassing and scary moments” that come into her life and is determined to “break down the 4th wall.” Her approach helps make invisible illness not-so-invisible. Her readers (and nominators in particular) love her blog because she describes things that they, too, experience but may be too shy to say it. Her artistic flair has also been known to inspire (check out her art here and her Create To Heal blog here). Wendy’s candid approach (and humor) inspires many and I’m so happy to have learned of her blog through the HAAwards. Now – let’s learn more about Wendy in her own words…
I’d like to introduce you to Best Kept Secret Finalist, and Health Activist – Regina Townsend! Regina has made it her personal mission to raise awareness for African American Infertility and Reproductive Health by starting not-for-profit organization and community, The Broken Brown Egg Foundation. Started “on the belief that there is a vast misconception and lack of information and awareness in the African-American community regarding infertility, conception, and family health” Regina has some great goals. (read the About page for more.) Nominated for Best Kept Secret seemed apt for Regina as someone who works in the community that, itself, is considered rather “secret,” or, as she puts it, “Being a black woman, I quickly found, was a very quiet life in infertility. I believe that should change, so that no one else will have to feel like the lone wolf of their family. Infertility is lonely enough without feeling like a minority inside of a minority.” Her candid approach to a topic that is particularly difficult is appreciated by those within her community and made a great impression on the judges during HAAwards. I look forward to seeing Regina’s impact continue to expand as more people discover her gem of a community and join in her personal mission. Now – let’s learn more about her in her own words…
I’d like to introduce you to a Rookie of the Year Finalist, and a Health Activist who has made a huge difference by “giving a face” to hundreds of people living with AS, Cookie Hopper of Faces of Ankylosing Spondylitis. Through her work in creating a site that focuses on giving patients living with Ankylosing Spondylitis the opportunity to share their stories, she has created a true community that has touched so many. There is really no better way to describe her project than how Cookie has, on her Vision page of Faces of AS (which you should read in full – it’s beautiful and gives some shout-outs to fellow AS Health Activists). Cookie writes, “I wanted people with Ankylosing Spondylitis to have a place where they are honored for having the courage to share their lives with us. I wanted people to understand that this disease isn’t just about Ankylosing Spondylitis, it’s about destruction of lives and the courage to fight for a life of quality and the Hope to continue to live the best life that you are able to and finding the faith to do so. I wanted to show the reality of this disease and the courage it takes to live our lives. I wanted to honor those who have Ankylosing Spondylitis, who I admire and respect.” If that’s not a powerful testament to the power of community manifest in the online space – I don’t know what is. Congrats to Cookie on her many heartfelt nominations and the wonderful job she is doing for the AS community at large. It will be so exciting to watch Faces of AS continue to blossom. Cookie is giving so many hope with her community – if you haven’t yet, definitely check it out. Now – let’s learn more about her in her own words…
I’d like to introduce you to Rookie of the Year Finalist, and Diabetes Health Activist – Kim Vlasnik! Kim is no stranger to the web, blogging at Texting My Pancreas and drawing hilarious cartoons – but her new project started in 2011 the You Can Do This Project brought a fresh idea to the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) centered around videos of support under the aptly titled mantra “You can do this.” A true testament to the power of online community and patient-to-patient support, YCDTP was created around the idea that: “Validation and community have the ability to lighten the emotional load that diabetes can place on us.That’s where this project comes in. Tell us your stories. Show others what living with diabetes is really like – no sugar-coating. Talk about the tough stuff.” To learn more about the Project – you should read the whole About page (it’s an awesome idea). Congrats to Kim for her nominations and for making a real impression on the judges and being a Finalist. Now – let’s learn more about her in her own words…
In the spirit of Health Activist Matchmaking Month, we will be doing one of my favorite things here on the blog: introducing new Health Activists! Meeting people is a huge part of online community (and the best perk of social media as far as I’m concerned). These Health Activists work alongside you in the landscape of “online health sites” but, because the internet is huge – it can be difficult to find out who these fellow health leaders are. That’s where we happily come in!
Hilarious Health Activist
You swear you’re at a comedy show. This Health Activist brings the funny with the advocacy.
Christie Germans – The Lesion Journals
Chato Stewart – Mental Health Humor
Rick Green – Totally ADD
Jaquie Wojcik – Bad Pancreas
Jenny – The Bloggess
Jackie Zimmerman – Blood, Poop, & Tears
Doug Ankerman – My Odd Sock
The Health Activist who always brings you the latest and greatest news and research.
Amy Tenderich – Diabetes Mine
Mark Stecker – Wheelchair Kamikaze
Brigid Laurito – My Rheumatoid Arthritis Journey
Rookie of the Year The Health Activist who came on the scene in 2011 but has inspired the entire community.