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 (@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, born2lbfat.com 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 ObesityHelp.com, 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 ObesityHelp.com and HealthCentral.com 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 (@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 (@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 at:http://www.alannawonglife.com