Melissa Adams VanHouten

Patient Leader

Having been diagnosed with Gastroparesis in February 2014, I know first-hand how life-altering this illness can be. As creator & administrator of several online support groups & the "Gastroparesis: Fighting for Change" advocacy groups, it is my desire to advocate & empower others to advocate for awareness, better treatments, and, ultimately, a cure. Over the past 2 years, our advocacy group has made huge strides, passing awareness proclamations in 30 states, contributing to the implementation of a national awareness month, and starting a petition drive to pass a congressional bill (HR 1187) that would greatly benefit our community. We hope to continue our efforts toward a better future!


Indianapolis, IN


Health Activist Hero Best in Show: Twitter Patient Leader Hero


Best in Show: Community or Forum

Melissa is a powerful and compassionate voice for all those affected by gastroparesis, a chronic but poorly understood disorder. The impact of this condition is significant. Symptoms can be disabling and sometimes life-threatening. I commend her for her ability to use social media, including Twitter, to speak for the millions of Americans affected.  — Tegan

Melissa is a true leader & inspiring hero! Her magnificent heart cares & comforts fellow chronically ill patients, especially those with Gastroparesis. Her dedication helps the GP community among various social media sites with advocacy & support groups, tweet chats, research, writing, et. The positive difference she makes is admirable & limitless,  — Trisha

Melissa Adams VanHouten

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