Patient Leader #FollowFriday – December 15th, 2017

Today’s #FollowFriday is unique in that we’re covering all aspects of the illness journey. We’ve included both patients and caregivers and even patients turned caregivers.

It’s so important to see the value in the experiences of all those who are touched by illness. The three leaders you’ll meet today are all WEGO Health Award finalists, which means their communities value their perspective and knowledge, and so do we!


Diabetic Danica

Diabetes Patient Leader

Facebook  |   Twitter  | YouTube

“I make YouTube videos about Type 1 diabetes because I want people to know that you can still live a happy and successful life with diabetes. I want to be a positive voice in an often negatively viewed disease. There are a lot of misconceptions about Type 1 diabetes – what it is, how it is managed, and even just what daily life looks like with it. So I make videos on everything from medical device tutorials, advice, personal stories, song parodies, and day-in-the-life videos. I want to build a place of support, where people can relate to each other and not feel so alone. Social and emotional support is so important in any chronic illness, and I am happy to create a space where people can be that for each other, while at the same time raising awareness in an entertaining way.”

Katie Brown

Lung Cancer Patient Leader

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Website

“I became a cancer survivor at the age of 22, but it wasn’t until my dad was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer that I became an advocate. In 2002 there were no resources or support for people impacted by lung cancer. It became my calling and mission to change that. I advocated on behalf of my dad during his cancer journey and later for thousands of lung cancer patients and families at the online support network I helped to create, the Lung Cancer Support Community (LCSC). The LCSC is the first and largest online support community for anyone affected by a lung cancer diagnosis. In 2006, the LCSC became a service of the LUNGevity Foundation where I am now the Vice President of Survivorship – creating services and programs and building communities across the country for people impacted by lung cancer.


Rick Banas

Senior Care Advocate

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Website

“I advocate for three reasons. The first is to help change how we think about growing older. Chronic health problems are not normal consequences of aging. Secondly, our focus should be on adding more life to years; not just more years to life. Third, my efforts are designed to shine a spotlight on the need for and benefits of affordable assisted living, especially in light of the coming Tsunami of Baby Boomers. Affordable assisted living communities especially benefit older adults and adults with disabilities who lack the financial resources to afford private pay assisted living. They provide a wonderful alternative to nursing home care. They benefit family members, particularly individuals in the sandwich generation challenged by the need to balance the responsibilities of work, raising a family and tending to the needs of older adult parents. They benefit the federal and state governments and us as taxpayers as the cost for an individual of Medicaid is much less in an affordable assisted living community than in a nursing home. And, the residential environment of an affordable assisted living community is much more appropriate.”

Whether you’re a patient or a caregiver, we all have so much we can learn from these three wonderful advocates. Be sure to check out their social channels and follow their lead by sharing your own story with someone today!

If you’re feeling inspired by these top Patient Leaders, you should join our network!

When you join our Patient Leader Network you’re first to know about the new and exciting things we’re doing at WEGO Health. Not only will we reach out to you when we have paid opportunities in your condition area, but we’ll also connect you with other Patient Leaders so you can share ideas and help each other amplify your messages. What are you waiting for? Join today!

Did you miss last week’s #FollowFriday? You can catch up here!


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