Year in and year out we come across Patient Leaders who continue to change the health world. These Patient leaders are true stars who continue to shine and don’t fit into just one category. Basically, they’ve done it ALL!
During the WEGO Health Awards, we like to recognize these Patient Leaders with the Lifetime Achievement award. Last year, we celebrated Patient Leader Barby Ingle as the Lifetime Achievement award winner.
Barby is a chronic pain educator, patient advocate, and President of the International Pain Foundation, as well as a motivational speaker and best-selling author on pain topics. She has been a pain patient since developing endometriosis in 1997, and reflex sympathetic dystrophy in 2002.
“As I search for a cure, I have become my own best advocate and work sharing the information so that others do not have the same life struggles that I have. Even after seeing over 100 healthcare professionals, having major surgeries I didn’t need, complications such as internal bleeding, medication interactions, kidney stones, tumors, severe constipation and so much more – I did not give up or give in,” Barby shares, “I was tested to my limits and realized they are past the boundaries I placed on myself. I had to become the Chief of Staff of my Own Medical Team. If I can do it, anyone can. We all just need support and HOPE!”
Barby began using her own experiences to mentor other chronic pain patients in 2006 and it seems she has not stopped since! She is continuously supporting her community on Twitter, Facebook, and through her blog as well as running awareness campaigns, attending various conferences, offering insight and support through live presentations and by serving on the board of numerous patient groups. Barby also serves on the board of advisers for CureClick, is a member of SPPAN, and a founding member of CPATF.
Like we said, she seems to have done it all. So how does she do it?
“Keep working towards your goals,” she shares, ” Sometimes they seem small and challenges pop up that prevent you from accomplishing them as fast as you would like. A wise mentor once taught me the best way to eat an elephant – one bite at a time. Same goes for lifetime accomplishments. You don’t fail until you give up. Keep going!”
But her #1 advice for fellow patient leaders?
“My secret to leading award winning advocacy efforts is learning to ignore haters and bullies. I choose not to shake a bullies hand or even engage with them no matter how hard I want to defend myself. I also learned that not everyone wants help. So, I do the best I can do to fulfill your life purpose and you will help others along the way. They must want the help we can’t force it. We can only share our experiences and in doing that we give others hope, help, and understanding.”
Clearly, Barby has a plethora of experiences and advice to offer all Patient Leaders looking to make a difference in healthcare. Don’t miss Barby sharing her story, mission and how she manages to keep going in this exclusive WEGO Health Award Winner Series Podcast. Listen now on Spreaker and iTunes.
Missed our last WEGO Health podcast? Don’t fret- listen to the full #WEGOHealthAwards Winners Series Podcast here.
Looking to start your own podcast? Check out these 3 basic questions you should be asking yourself before you hit record. And as always, be sure to share your podcast with the WEGO Health Network team.
Kristen Long is the Patient Leader Network Coordinator at WEGO Health. Her own health experiences have inspired her to empower other patients and encourage the power of patient advocacy. Check out her blog and follow Kristen on Twitter and Facebook.