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August 26, 2014

Announcing: 2014 Patient-Caregiver Scholarship Recipients

By meredithgould

With gratitude for all who shared their stories and vision for health care in fine applications, we're delighted to announce this year's recipients of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Patient-Caregiver Scholarship.


Sarah Bramblette.Edited

Sarah Bramblette (@Born2lbFat) is a Lipedema and Lymphedema patient who combines her experiences as a patient and healthcare administrative professional in her advocacy efforts. She writes about her life experiences on her blog, and uses multiple social media platforms to share awareness and advocate for improved diagnosis, treatment, and insurance coverage. She also advocates against weight bias and stigma, specifically in healthcare and the workplace.

Sarah is the Community Advocate for, a member of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), the National Lymphedema Network (NLN), and the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA). Her story has been shared on and and in OAC Your Weight Matters Magazine, Psychology Today, and the Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics on Obesity. She recently hosted a WEGO Health Activist Twitter chat. Sarah is also working towards a Masters in Health Law and will graduate in June 2015.


Cindy Chmielewski.edited

Cindy Chmielewski (@MyelomaTeacher) is a Rutgers University graduate who, upon graduation, secured a job as an educator and has been teaching ever since. She was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2008 and began treatment immediately.

When induction therapy stopped working after only a few cycles, she opted for a stem cell transplant, retiring from education when the stem cell transplant failed to put her into remission. Now that consolidation therapy has resulted in a remission, she uses her skills as an educator to teach a new group of “students” – myeloma patients.

Cindy serves on the Board of the Philadelphia Multiple Myeloma Networking Group (PMMNG), is a trained mentor, and participates in several online communities. She has attended the American Society of Hematology’s and the American Association for Cancer Research’s Annual Meetings as a Patient Advocate.

She’s a member of the IMF ACTION TEAM (@IMFadvocacy) and has represented New Jersey at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Mission Day in Washington, DC. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Patient Empowerment Network and was instrumental in starting the #MMSM monthly Twitter-based chats.


Alanna Wong.Edited

Alanna Wong (@Alanna_Wong) has spent the past seven years dedicating her life to raising awareness for Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS) to help other sufferers. She focuses on raising funds for research, connecting and engaging with the KLS community, and facilitating the KLS Foundation website.

Alanna is committed to improving quality of life for anyone struggling with KLS or experiencing chronic illness. She has been featured in numerous media outlets including: Anderson Cooper, ITV London, Sunday Night (Australia), The Sun, The Daily Mail, and Seventeen Magazine (Singapore). You can visit her


Tags: MCSMN News

Liked by emad


Janet Kennedy

Posts: 273
Joined: Feb 12, 2014
Posted by @jkennedy93, Aug 26, 2014

It must have been a very difficult decisions. All the applicants were so deserving and had amazing stories. I look forward to meeting them in October.

Bryan Vartabedian

Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 25, 2013
Posted by @bryanvartabedian, Aug 26, 2014

What I love about this group is that they represent fresh voices of the patient community. We sometimes forget that e-patients and surrogates are representative of so many conditions.

I, too, look forward to meeting all of you in October.

Cindy Chmielewski

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 22, 2013
Posted by @MyelomaTeacher, Aug 27, 2014

Looking forward to meeting you too!

Liked by The James

Richard Anderson

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 04, 2014
Posted by @randerson, Aug 27, 2014

Thank you!

I was interested to see that the three winners were all people with chronic
illness/disability. The other side of the coin is the caregiver, sometimes
a spousal caregiver who helps them, often in many ways, and with great
cost, emotional, physical and financially to their health, and to the life
of the family or couple. Since this scholarship is called a
\”Patient/Caregiver\” award, I wonder whether you might consider allotting at
least 1 award to a caregiver.

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson, 1025 Earl St., Norfolk, VA 23503
703-969-8285 (cell-leave message)

Former President, Board Member, Webmaster, Well Spouse® Association

My mission in life is to build compassion for and promote healing of those
who _care_ for those who are ill — in particular, spousal caregivers

Liked by Terri


Posts: 312
Joined: Feb 07, 2011
Posted by @meredithgould, Aug 27, 2014

Richard, Please be assured that we received entries from caregivers as well as patients, and representatives from both cohorts made it to the final round. As someone who has served as a caregiver (unpaid) and personal aide (paid…if $5.50/hr. qualifies as pay), I deeply appreciate the efforts of organizations like Well Spouse.

Christine Hoekenga

Posts: 36
Joined: Oct 29, 2013
Posted by @bchoekenga, Aug 27, 2014

Congratulations, all! You are inspiring!

Linda Hageman, RN

Posts: 52
Joined: Feb 28, 2011
Posted by @hagm04, Aug 28, 2014

I want to Welcome all of the winners of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Essay Contest. Having attended this event, in the past, I know what an Social Media graduate will come away with. Be ready to spend one of the most educational experiences you will ever encounter. The Best Of Health, Linda Hageman, RN


Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 24, 2014
Posted by @emad, Sep 24, 2014


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