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Top 10 | Best Kept Secret

The 2019 WEGO Health Awards turned out to be our biggest celebration yet! With over 6k nominations and 130k endorsements, we were able to celebrate more Patient Leaders than ever before.

The program celebrates the top 5 finalists in each of the 15 WEGO Health Awards categories, but with so many nominations, it’s nearly impossible to shine a bright light on all these deserving nominees! In hopes of recognizing even more nominees, we’ve compiled the Top 10 Patient Leaders in each category based on community endorsements.

WEGO Health Awards Best Kept Secret Award

The Internet is a vast place, making it nearly impossible to find all of the amazing content that exists. For the Best Kept Secret category, we turn to the Patient Leader Network for recommendations of who we should be following in hopes of shining a light on the hidden gems of the online health community. Take a moment to follow these inspirational leaders and you’ll quickly realize why they’re a Top 10 Best Kept Secret…


Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy | Mental Health Patient Leader

2019 Best Kept Secret Winner

Natasha Tracy is an author, speaker and consultant who lives with bipolar disorder. She is considered a subject matter expert in depression and bipolar disorder and has written the acclaimed book: “Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression and Bipolar.” Natasha believes that quality, trustworthy, evidence-based information is critical for successful treatment decision-making and better outcomes.

Be sure to follow the 2019 WEGO Health Award winner on social.


Rebranding Autism  | Autism Patient Leader

2019 Best Kept Secret Finalist

“I have autism. My story of being an advocate began after I left the Judge Rotenberg Center in 2009, advocating against electric skin shock to punish the behaviors of those with disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, which I myself endured for 7 years. I have spoken at several disability conferences and panels to inform professionals on the pain and mental anguish that myself and others endured because of the skin shock treatment. I began my online presence by posting videos to YouTube of my piano interpretations of popular songs. I was shy and did not want to talk much in my videos because I was afraid of being teased. But in 2017, my confidence had improved enough for me to start my YouTube channel, Rebranding Autism where I try to inspire my viewers to have confidence, get out of their comfort zone and try new things.”

Follow Jen’s journey as she advocates for autism.


Double Baggin’ It | Ostomy and Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patient Leaders

2019 Best Kept Secret Finalist

Danielle Gulden and Joe Teeters are IBD warriors and permanent ileostomates. They’re comedians, speakers, advocates and Two Best Friends without Buttholes! Danielle and Joe use their humor, wisdom, and stories to connect with and support other people living with ostomies and Inflammatory Bowel Disease! They believe in the power of humor, advocacy and awareness!

Laugh along with Danielle and Joe as they educate and build awareness.


LeAnna Headley | Pediatric Cancer Patient Leader

2019 Best Kept Secret Finalist

“In 2014, as a mere fourteen year old, I created an instagram page to follow along some stories of kids fighting cancer, who I had found on my personal page. I knew very little about pediatric cancer but Our Amazing Fighters was born. Through following along these kid’s journeys, I began to learn the devastating reality that children fighting cancer face everyday. I decided I wanted to do something more tangible for these kids so I began sending and delivering care packages all across the US to kids fighting. I have had the absolute privilege of meeting these families and seeing the heartache first hand. I have heard the cries, seen the pain and lack of treatment options and it has only made me more passionate about the cause. I wholeheartedly believe I am the luckiest human alive, that I get to do this everyday. I love these kiddos so so much. They are without a doubt my heroes!”

Learn more about LeAnna’s inspiring efforts to help children fighting cancer.


Jeniece Stewart | Special Needs Patient Leader

2019 Best Kept Secret Finalist

Jeniece Stewart is a passionate Special Needs Advocate, Consultant and Speaker who provides resources and tools to assist special needs families and the community. She is the Founder of Special Needs Siblings, Inc. a unique non-profit with a global mission committed to raising awareness, resources, and support for the siblings of disabled individuals. Her mission is to serve as a voice for the specials needs community and ensure special needs families never go at it alone and always feel supported.

Find out how to follow Jeniece and her non-profit Special Needs Siblings, Inc.


PodcastDX | Rare Disease Patient Leader

PodcastDX is a weekly interview based podcast series. Patients provide experience based medical insight, in a peer to peer format. Many Americans turn to friends and family for support and advice when they have a health problem. Since people’s networks are expanding to include online peers, particularly in the crucible of rare disease, we decided to implement a podcast series to interview and discuss various diagnoses with actual patients. Health professionals remain the central source of information for most Americans, but “peer-to-peer healthcare” is a significant supplement.

Follow PodcastDX as they continue to interview patients and share insights.


Kait Bovard | Breast Cancer Patient Leader

Kait is a breast cancer warrior who shares her story to encourage and support others on their own cancer journeys. Diagnosed as a 21-year-old newlywed, she hasn’t let the lifechanging diagnosis stop her. Her motivational blog and social media posts offer both practical tips and hope.

Follow Kait on social!


Aliana Fichera | Rare Disease Patient Leader

As a child living with CVID & CRPS, Aliana has been committed to giving back from a young age. From spending her birthday each year using sidewalk chalk to create something for children in the hospital to look out and see to raising funds and awareness, Aliana is making a big impact.

Follow along as Aliana works to make kids smile. 


Jenna Green | Multiple Sclerosis Patient Leader

Since Jenna’s Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis in 2016, she has committed herself to bring awareness, support, education, and community to those who suffer from MS, invisible illnesses, chronic pain, and fatigue. She shares her own personal health journey while fundraising for the MS Society and speaking about how she copes with her autoimmune illness as a self-employed small business owner. She connects with her community on social media with her stories about real life including all the ups and downs of living with MS, running a business, and having an invisible illness ‘when you still look so good’.

Want to see where Jenna’s journey takes her? Click here.


Trevor Romain | Mental Health Patient Leader

Trevor has been speaking to children and working with children for over 30 years. He realized he had a natural ability to connect with children when he volunteered to visit terminally ill children at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin. He quickly became known as the Doctor of Mischief, meaning he drove the kids crazy with his jokes and pranks, but at the same time giving them a trusting ear and hope for the future, whatever the future held. It was during these hospital visits that Trevor realized that adults sometimes tell children what they think they need to hear, instead of listening to what they are asking for. It was with this knowledge that Trevor wrote his series of best-selling self-help children’s books.

Learn how to follow Trevor here.


 

Don’t let these amazing Patient Leaders stay secrets any longer. Add them to your feed!

 

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