Men should feel comfortable talking about their health, but many aren’t. In this patient panel, we explore the importance of overcoming the stigma men face when it comes to opening up about what they’re going through as well as what we can do to support the men in our lives. You’ll hear from Lupus patient leader Emmitt Henderson III, Hepatitis C patient leader Rick Nash, and Crohn’s patient leader Cedric Pulliam along with Seth Rotberg and Grady Stewart from the Patient Leader Network Team.
Meet the Patient Panelists
Emmitt Henderson III
Emmitt Henderson III is a 26-year male lupus warrior whose story started in 1980 with Discoid Lupus and eventually evolved to Lupus Nephritis and Systemic Lupus. At one point, his lupus flares were so extreme that he was in the hospital every month for a week and a half at a time, over the course of a year. He had a kidney transplant, suffered heart failure, liver disease, damage to parts of his body, and was even in a coma for over 3 weeks. After enduring all of these challenges, he decided to become a full-time advocate for the disease that has debilitated him for half of his life. He created his own organization called Male Lupus Warriors LLC in hopes of inspiring anyone with any chronic condition that you can overcome the worst. He aims to raise awareness in the community that men get lupus too, and wants to give men a safe space to talk about their illness and how they can strengthen their mental health. Emmitt is currently working to create a non-profit from his Male Lupus Warriors initiative.
Rick Nash (Jaenisch) is a volunteer, advocate, and speaker who has been a leader in the Hepatitis C patient community for a few years now. He currently writes for Hepmag.com, and has formerly moderated and written for HepatitisC.net. He has a long list of volunteer experience which includes being a board member for the Parenteral Drug Association Southern California chapter, International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers San Diego chapter, and Liver Coalition of San Diego. His mom is a survivor of Hep C of three treatments, while he’s a Hepatitis C survivor of six treatments, a liver transplant recipient, and a rare vertical transmission. He is a male voice in the Hep C Community, despite it affecting men disproportionately more, suspected almost 2 to 1. He hopes that his story inspires more men to talk about their health, especially with Hepatitis C. Rick is a recent graduate of the Master’s in Public Health program in Global Health at CSUSM. He is currently the Director of Education and Outreach at Open Biopharma Research and Training Institute.
Cedric Pulliam, Ph.D. currently serves as a Senior Public Health Advisor and Project Officer for the CDC in the Prevention Program Branch of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. He is also a board certified health psychologist. In 2019, he completed his postdoctoral fellowship as a Senior Health Equity Fellow at the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles, CA as a member of the Youth Health Equity Model of Practice Health Equity Fellowship program by the Office of Minority Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Cedric co-founded the Ending the Criminalization of HIV and Overincarceration in Virginia Coalition (ECHO VA Coalition) and previously volunteered at the Gay Men’s Health Collaborative (GMHC) for many years. He has founded and continues to lead the Regional HIV/AIDS Policy and Planning Summit for the DC metro area held every other year which combats key policy issues facing people living with HIV while serving as a Commissioner on the Alexandria Commission on HIV/AIDS in 2017. You can find Cedric on Twitter as an IBD patient advocate @CrohnsWhatIs and other social media events focusing on a variety of topics impacting the IBD patient community.