stories

People all over are fighting the stigma associated with their health condition – and winning. Read their stories – and share yours!

Erik

Erik

Erik is a licensed clinical social worker, an avid fisherman, a former professional boxer, and the father of a young son, Tynan. Ty was born with a health condition called Sturge-Weber syndrome, an abnormality of the blood vessels in the brain that can cause seizures and other serious health problems. Erik

James

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James’s story begins at age 18 with a new driver’s license. “I thought I was a fairly cool driver but then I managed to turn over a Land Rover, and it blew up,” he says. “I was trapped inside it with four others and they all got out. I was the last one out. James

Clarinda

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Clarinda was just 15 when a youth worker walked into the YMCA and shot her. Nothing personal, it was just his initiation into a gang. He had to show he was unafraid to use a gun or to go to jail. Clarinda

Pat

Pat

Pat’s health condition is invisible. She has Ménière’s disease (MD) resulting in a progressive hearing loss. Initially it was mild on one side. But by her mid-30s, Pat was profoundly deaf in her left ear – and determined to keep it hidden. Pat

Carolee

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Carolee has spina bifida. “It’s the most common neural tube defect,” she says. “It causes me mostly mobility issues. I’m mostly paralyzed. I’ve lived on my own for almost 20 years. Carolee

Tara

Tara

Tara is a professional woman working in London. She has lived with incontinence her entire life. A spinal cord surgery at 18 months damaged the nerves to her bladder and bowel. Tara