Welcome back to our second monthly round up of 2020. We’ve made it to our 63rd episode, and we can’t thank our listeners enough for continuing to support and tune in! This month’s episodes cover some pretty amazing stories, including a particularly outspoken individual who has been battling ulcerative colitis (since the age of six!) and hosting events to help educate young people who are chronically ill.
Who did we talk to in February? We spoke with Sneha Dave about ulcerative colitis and the chronically ill community; Dibs Baer about living with rheumatoid arthritis; Sylvie Leotin about living with cancer; and Natasha Tracy about the struggles of living with bipolar disorder.
February is certainly not a month to miss out on! So sit back, relax, and enjoy some very unique perspectives from people living with invisible illness.
A senior at Indiana University majoring in chronic illness advocacy and journalism, Sneha Dave is no stranger to #SpoonieLife. Diagnosed at the age of six with ulcerative colitis (UC), she is the founder of Health Advocacy Summit (HAS), an organization that hosts events in various cities around the country to provide education, insight, and community to an often-underserved patient population affected by chronic illness: young adults transitioning from pediatric to adult care.
Dibs Baer is a New York Times best-selling author and celebrity journalist. The author/co-author of six books, including, most recently, Lady Tigers in the Concrete Jungle: How Softball and Sisterhood Saved Lives in the South Bronx, she was formerly the executive editor of InTouch Weekly, and has worked on staff at numerous other publications. While she has been published extensively across varied media, she’s best known for her celebrity interviews. Dibs and Lauren connected over a piece Dibs was writing for Creaky Joints, the foremost online publication for arthritis patients (including RA and fibromyalgia patients, among others). It came to light that Dibs lives with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and has for some time. It also just happens that she is transgender. The intersection of layers of invisibility in Dibs’ life became a conversation, and Lauren couldn’t help but invite her on the show to share more. Uninvisible community, meet Dibs!
Sylvie Leotin started her career in France as a gold-medal ballerina, later moving to Silicon Valley as one of the first women to research at Stanford Robotics Laboratory. She has held positions in engineering, products, marketing, sales, business development, and communications; she is the founder and CEO of Tech Atelier, a multidisciplinary strategy agency advising startups and beyond. A contributor to media, academic, and literary publications, she holds an MS in Engineering and Economic Systems from Stanford University, as well as an MS in Computer Science. After a 20-year career, however, she became something else entirely: a cancer patient. Struggling to be recognized by her healthcare providers, she began to write about her experience. A new voice emerged, and her transformation led her to patient advocacy. A creative intellectual, her skill has always been in understanding unvoiced needs. In this frank and philosophical interview, she tells Lauren about the long road to her breast cancer diagnosis…and how she continues to seek improvement in patient-centered care while embracing life after treatment.
Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker, and social media consultant who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 20. The author of The Bipolar Burble blog (named a top-10 health blog by Healthista, Health.com, Healthline, and others) and Breaking Bipolar for HealthyPlace.com, she aims to bring quality, insightful, and evidence-based information on bipolar disorder and related illnesses to the public while engaging with the mental health community. She is considered a subject-matter expert in bipolar disorder, and in 2014 was the recipient of the Beatrice Stern Media Award, an #ErasingTheStigma Leadership Award. Her work has been featured in the Daily Mail (UK), Huffington Post, Healthline, and PsychCentral, among others. She recently released her book, Lost Marbles: Insights into my Life with Depression & Bipolar. In this interview, Natasha sat down with Lauren at HLTH 2019, where both were in attendance to receive their WEGO Health Awards — Natasha’s for Best Kept Secret.