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A podcast about invisible conditions and chronic invisible illness, featuring interviews with survivors, their loved ones, advocates, and experts in varied healing modalities, from medical to holistic. Hosted by Lauren Freedman, a voice actor, writer, and activist, who lives with Hashimoto’s disease and sleep disorders, Uninvisible uncovers real stories of survival and humanity – complete with laughter. In truth and with candor, we offer solutions – and challenge the world to change.
 
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Tiffany Yu is the CEO & Founder of Diversability, an award-winning social enterprise to amplify disabled voices; the Founder of the Awesome Foundation Disability Chapter, a monthly micro-grant that has awarded $49.5k to 50 disability projects in 8 countries; and the host of TIFFANY & YU, the podcast. She serves on the San Francisco Mayor’s Disabili…
 
In 2012, while studying at university, Mimi Butlin contracted viral meningitis — from which she never fully recovered. Since then she has been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, fibromyalgia, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and ME/CFS (as Mimi wryly notes, “a really lovely bunch!”). For years, she felt completely alone and that convi…
 
In 2009, Juana Mata was diagnosed with lupus. One of three very close sisters, nobody in her family had heard of this illness prior to her diagnosis — or knew how to handle her support and treatment. As the family began to research education, resources, and the history of the disease, they began to discover that it was largely misunderstood, and th…
 
Alexa Chronister is the founder and president of Fight Like A Warrior (FLAW). She created FLAW after creating the Cards For Warriors program (sending handmade cards of encouragement to chronic illness warriors across the globe, reminding them they are not alone) in 2016. With the goal of creating a community of empowerment and improving the lives o…
 
Julian Gavino (he/him) is a trans-masculine model, writer, coach, and sex-positive disability influencer living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and comorbidities. An outspoken advocate for both the trans and disability communities, Julian grew up never seeing people in media who “looked like” him…and his work has become a direct response to that experi…
 
Shayla Swint is a 25-year-old college grad from Houston, Texas. Like the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” Shayla is so much more than what we can see…she lives with connective tissue disorder Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), hypermobile type. She’s survived over 15 surgeries thus far, and lives in an almost-constant state of pain and anxi…
 
In the last in our 2021 series on Lyme disease, we are joined by the first WOC to discuss the subject: Rhisa Marie Parera. Though she began experiencing symptoms from a young age, Rhisa grew up as an active young woman in Staten Island, NY, and got heavily involved in the salsa dancing scene and modeling from her late teens into her early twenties.…
 
Sharon Leggio Falchuk, FMCHC found herself bedridden by a serious illness in 2011, and when the mainstream medical system had no answers or help for her she took matters into her own hands. She spent every moment she could doing research, changing her diet and lifestyle, and assembling a functional medicine and alternative care team to help her for…
 
Lisa Hunt, D.O., D.O.H. is a practitioner at Holtorf Medical Group in El Segundo, CA. She specializes in anti-aging treatment, natural thyroid replacement, menopause/andropause therapy (including bioidentical hormone replacement), chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, strengthening the immune system, neurotransmitter analysis/replacement, and nut…
 
Christina Kantzavelos (@buenqamino // @beginwithintoday) is a Lyme warrior, award-winning freelance writer/content creator, chronic illness advocate, and licensed psychotherapist. She was diagnosed with Lyme disease and co-infections in October of 2018. However, she struggled with debilitating symptoms and various autoimmune diseases for years prio…
 
Casey Kelley, MD, ABoIM is the founder and medical director of Case Integrative Health. Dr. Kelley is relentless about getting to the root cause of chronic disease and transforming health through Functional Medicine. On faculty at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, she is Board Certified in Family Medicine and was also among the first phys…
 
Whether it’s hiding the likes of Pamela Anderson from paparazzi or helping NeNe Leakes pretend to sell furniture…Alex Moresco has a story about it. A PR executive from Chicago, four years ago her life was turned upside-down by undiagnosed illness. It took her two years and eight specialists (a shorter time than most, she admits) to find a doctor th…
 
Gena Chieco is a coach, adventurer, and connector who loves inspiring clients to step into their best lives by providing tools to help them tap into their inner wisdom and dreams. She grew up in a rural suburb of New York City running around barefoot in the summer, obsessed with nature, with dreams of becoming a zoologist. After earning a BA with H…
 
Dr. Micah Yu is an integrative rheumatologist who incorporates complementary medicine with traditional rheumatology. He is double board-certified in internal medicine and lifestyle medicine. He obtained his MD from Chicago Medical School, and holds a Masters in Healthcare Administration and Biomedical sciences. He completed his internal medicine re…
 
Artist Rana Awadallah grew up surrounded by poverty, abuse, and trauma. Diagnosed with major depression and extreme anxiety at the age of 18, she always felt there was something “wrong” with her body. Then, at the age of 24 — after having dealt with chronic pain for a decade — she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both of her knees. Shortly afte…
 
Michole J lives with rare muscle disease polymyositis (PM), which falls under the umbrella of muscular dystrophy. PM is an uncommon inflammatory disease that affects the entire body — and while Michole began to exhibit symptoms in her late 20s, she was diagnosed at age 30 with the rarest form. Living with the condition create mobility challenges, f…
 
Rachel Otis (she/they) is a somatic therapist, yoga teacher, abolitionist, writer, and pleasure activist who works directly, compassionately and non-judgmentally with the mind-body connection, infusing sessions, groups, retreats, and articles with radical self-love, exploration, and expression. She provides healing pathways of somatically-oriented …
 
Samantha Reid is the Digital Director for Patients for Affordable Drugs. Growing up in Illinois, she suffered from a “bad stomach” and weakened immune system, having caught pneumonia nine times by the age of nine. But it wasn’t until she was in her late teens that she sought answers. A diagnosis of Crohn’s disease eventually led her into patient ad…
 
David Mitchell has an incurable blood cancer called multiple myeloma. The price of his current drugs is more than $875,000 per year. Like millions of Americans, David needs innovation and new drugs to survive, but he believes drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them. After more than 30 years at a D.C. policy and communications firm, he retired …
 
Kayla Harley is a certified GYROKINESISⓇ instructor, Optimal Life Breath Pathologist, doula, and energy healer helping dancers, athletes and everyday movers alike improve their quality of movement: for breath integration and to prevent injury. She is an International Practitioner and among the forerunners in the International Association for Blacks…
 
Join us as we launch a brand new series on Uninvisible Pod — INNOVATORS! In this series, we will periodically release episodes including short-form interviews with founders whose work is creating waves of change in chronic and invisible illness and disability. First up, as we dive in to the end of the year and look forward into 2021: Yale graduate …
 
At the age of 10, Nitika Chopra was diagnosed with a debilitating case of psoriasis. By 19, her joints were entirely inflamed and she was further diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. From the tips of her toes to the crown of her head, her body was covered in unsightly sores…and for the first five years of her second diagnosis, she was unable to move…
 
Jaime Sanders’ journey with migraine has been life-long. From a toddler with abdominal migraine to a wife and mother with chronic intractable migraine, Jaime has learned to turn her pain into empowerment. She also manages her daily life with depression and anxiety, surviving two suicide attempts, along with fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, spi…
 
Born and raised in South Carolina, 27-year-old Brittany Sumner always felt like she was different than her peers — both physically and mentally. At an early age, she began falling over without explanation, finding herself unable to climb stairs, going cross-eyed, experiencing slurred speech, choking on food, and feeling almost constant fatigue. It …
 
Jeniece Dortch is a mom of six, her children ranging in age from 4-16 years. She has a passion for the special needs community that was born when her second-eldest son, Christian Garcia, was diagnosed with autism and epilepsy. She not only saw the need to advocate for these communities, but for the entire family unit (even those who are able-bodied…
 
In May 2016, Kelly Cervantes and her family received two life-changing pieces of news: her husband, Miguel, had landed the starring role of Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton: An American Musical in Chicago; and their then-7-months-old baby girl, Adelaide, was diagnosed with epilepsy — and eventually, infantile spasms — a severe form of childhood epile…
 
Natalie Y. Beavers is an award-winning epilepsy survivor, advocate, and founder of the Angels Of Epilepsy Foundation, a non-profit organization that brings awareness, education, and community to epilepsy survivors and their families nationwide. Diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 5, a seizure while she was driving in 2006 caused a life-changing a…
 
An educator for over 20 years, Vatesha Bouler is a kindergarten teacher and (almost!) six-year breast cancer survivor. Diagnosed at a relatively young age, her experience pushed her to believe that life must be lived to the fullest — and she walks that walk every day in her advocacy work for others enduring similar experiences. A public speaker and…
 
Bassima Mroue is a Lebanese-American entrepreneur with over a decade’s worth of experience working with heavyweights like Nike and Spanx. As a board member of the Sara Blakely Foundation, she is an active supporter of female empowerment — as she so beautifully demonstrates in her 2012 TEDx Portland talk. Passionate for developing purpose-driven bra…
 
When she first met her new gynecologist, Lauren R. Kornegay was introduced to a disorder that was unfamiliar to her at the time: endometriosis. Diagnosed at the age of 20, she experienced the pain, struggles, exhaustion, and confusion that accompany the disease. This led her on a search to find someone who looked like her — who was also living with…
 
Nkem Osian is a Public Health Analyst at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, where she analyzes and monitors Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs in Los Angeles County. In this role, she ensures the uninsured, underinsured, and vulnerable individuals with HIV have access to optimal, life-saving treatment and care. In addition, Nkem i…
 
Jahlove Serrano is a health educator, youth advocate, HIV/AIDS activist, androgynous model/runway coach, drag Queen, background dancer, and choreographer to the stars. He's a Guatemalan/American native of the Bronx, New York, and contracted HIV a couple of days shy of his 16th birthday. Upon diagnosis — and as he learned more about the experiences …
 
Giuliani Alvarenga is an award-winning writer and law student living in New Orleans. A familiar face to those who have watched Trust Me, I’m Sick, they are HIV-undetectable and have a Bachelor's degree in English Literature and Gender & Women's Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Giuli is also affiliated with the Centers for Diseas…
 
Charles Sanchez is a Mexican-American, gay, HIV+ writer, performer, director and advocate living in New York City. He is one of the co-founders of Skipping Boyz Productions, and conceived, writes and stars in the award-winning musical comedy web series Merce. In 2003, he was diagnosed with AIDS and began his journey to becoming an activist and advo…
 
A native of Nigeria, Ade Adeyokunnu emigrated with his family as a child and grew up in Maryland. Currently living in the Philadelphia area (and a newlywed!), he’s been passionate about sickle cell disease advocacy for as long as he can remember — perhaps because both he and his younger sister, Bukky, both live with the diagnosis. It’s what drove h…
 
Bukky Adeyokunnu is a self-taught portrait photographer and filmmaker. Born in Lagos, Nigeria and bred in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Bukky tells visual stories of women, health, and the immigrant experience. She began her journey in 2015 and has since become a Dean’s Collection artist, been featured in xoNecole for The Warrior Series, a phot…
 
Revée Agyepong is a registered nurse specializing in neonatal intensive care and based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She currently works in the Pediatric Hematology Clinic at the Stollery Children’s Hospital as the Sickle Cell Disease Nurse…which is fitting, considering that until recently, she was living with sickle cell disease herself. In late 2…
 
Sabrina Marie Vera is a proud first-generation college graduate, Puerto Rican woman, and HHT survivor. She and her family suffer from Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), a rare genetic blood disease that took brother Robert’s life 15 years ago. HHT affects about 1.4 million people worldwide and has no cure. Sabrina graduated from Pomona Co…
 
Amanda DeJesus was the recipient of a heart transplant at the age of 15. Inspired by her need to eat heart-healthy, she developed a passion for cooking and trained as a chef, graduating from the Art Institute of Houston in Texas. With her friend and stroke survivor Kelly Fucheck, she is co-host of the podcast Unfiltered Survivors. In 2017, Amanda s…
 
Kendall Ciesemier is the executive producer of multimedia for the ACLU. A multi-award-winning reporter, producer, writer, and social entrepreneur, she founded Kids Caring 4 Kids — an organization that empowers young people and helps provide access to clean water, healthcare, food, and education to children living in Zambia, Kenya, and South Africa …
 
Tori S. Dixon (MS, LPC) is the owner and practicing clinician of Graceful Journey Counseling in Arlington, Texas. A licensed professional counselor with a background in funeral direction, her specialty has naturally become grief and loss; she practices from the belief that any barrier to mental wellness is ultimately attributed to some sense of los…
 
TW: This episode includes mention of suicidal ideation and behavior, as well as discussion of a suicide attempt that the guest survived. Diana Chao is a 21-year-old first-generation Chinese-American immigrant from southern California. During her sophomore year of high school, bipolar disorder nearly ended her life…and inspired her to create non-pro…
 
@Autism_IRL is an Instagram account created by WEGO-award-winner Dana Kelsey, who works alongside her parents as a full-time caregiver for her autistic adult brother, Robert. Dana has a background as a behavior analyst, and has been working professionally with the autistic community for 10 years. Her passion for this line of work was sparked by a p…
 
Daniel Jones is the founder of The Aspie World (TAW), an internationally-recognized patient leadership platform that works to help the world understand autism — from an autistic person’s perspective. It has become the UK’s #1 resource for Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, OCD, and dyslexia. With a YouTube audience of over 100k and over 8 million views, Da…
 
Jennifer White-Johnson is a designer, photographer, art activist, and art educator. Her work focuses on the intersection of content and caregiving with an emphasis on redesigning ableist visual culture. In this interview, Jen shares her experience living with Graves’ disease and undiagnosed ADHD, as well as her son’s diagnosis of autism at age 2. W…
 
Tanika Gray Valbrun is an award-winning journalist and women’s health educator. She is the founder of non-profit The White Dress Project, an organization dedicated to bringing awareness, raising funding, and increasing education about uterine fibroids. Tanika lives with uterine fibroids herself, one of the 80% of Black women in the US to develop th…
 
Lisa Sniderman, aka Aoede, is an award-winning quirky folk-pop musician, playwright, author, and filmmaker from San Francisco. She’s been honored with more than 85 awards for songwriting, audiobooks, films, stage plays, and books since 2012 — all while living from rare autoimmune disorder dermatomyositis (or DM, as she calls it), a progressive musc…
 
Trust Me I’m Sick is a docu-series produced in partnership with nonprofit Suffering the Silence that explores how chronic illness affects the everyday lives of five people living in Los Angeles, California. Ezra (18), Giuliani (29), Henriette (50), Matt (32), and Cassandra (28) share intimate stories about how lupus, HIV, and other conditions shape…
 
Sheryl Chan is the writer behind A Chronic Voice, a blog that aims to articulate lifelong illnesses through various perspectives. She herself lives with multiple diagnoses, which include autoimmune disorder antiphospholipid syndrome, Sjögren's syndrome, epilepsy, lupus (SLE) and more. Beginning with a mini stroke at the age of 14, Sheryl’s experien…
 
Keisha Greaves is the founder of fashion label Girls Chronically Rock, and is a motivational speaker and former Massachusetts State Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Diagnosed as a graduate student with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, she is now largely wheelchair-bound. As a patient advocate, she worked with Massachusetts Go…
 
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