Overview of HealtheVoices 15 Conference 

I have so much to catch up on that I don’t even know where to begin!

Lets start with the conference hosted by Jannsen and Everyday Health earlier this month. It was their first time coming together to develop a weekend dedicated towards helping and connecting advocates of many health conditions.

It was wonderful to hear speaches from people who were discussing things I go through as an advocate, and things I know a lot of my friends struggle with too. This conference, in essence, became a safe place for advocates to share some of their experiences, ask questions and listen to how other people have handled various situations, etc. 

Regardless of the chronic illness you suffer from, there is a common bond that most of us share. We all want to be understood and accepted. Many of us feel ashamed or guilt ridden because of our disease. It can take a long time to prepare and analyze even the simplest of things (ex, eating dinner out or traveling.) We suffer from mental health issues related to the intense pain, worry, fear, and oftentimes, loneliness. I could go on and on.

It was nice to have people come together and just connect… offline, as human beings. I have mentioned before how I am growing tired of social media in a lot of respects. I love certain platforms but otherwise I find it to be so phony I can’t stand it. 

I feel grateful for the opportunity to connect with so many people who are making a difference while fighting demons of their own. I am thankful I was able to meet with some awesome IBD advocates whom I only knew through the wonderful world of twitter.