Kristal

Patient Leader

Suffering with Fibromyalgia myself, I am a Fibromyalgia Advocate, Educator and Awareness Coordinator on behalf of the Fibromyalgia Community. I help the FM Community better understand their illness, help individuals understand the process of applying for disability benefits, support people with advocating for their medical needs and communicate on their own behalf along with promote Fibromyalgia Awareness. I am a college graduate and service connected disabled military veteran. Prior to the progression of my Fibromyalgia, I spent 20 years working in the Social Services Developmental Disability and Mental Health Fields. However, as my illness progressed, I became unable to work. Due, to the severity of my Fibromyalgia, my medical doctors/specialists then deemed me as "disabled." As a person diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I spent many years navigating the healthcare system to get an appropriate diagnosis, find knowledgeable treatment specialists, sift through misinformation about my medical condition and overcome the stigma of Fibromyalgia being a “fake disease" or it being "All In My Head." My experiences led to frustration, and years of time wasted, as my condition deteriorated leaving me unable to work, countless emergency room and hospital trips and very few treatment options. From my personal experiences I decided I could do one of two things: Wallow In Pity or Use My Experiences to be a Positive Agent of Change for the Fibromyalgia Community! So, I started an annual awareness campaign “POP and PUT ON PURPLE To Promote Fibromyalgia Awareness” several years ago to share my Knowledge And Expertise with my friends and family, along with help others battling Fibromyalgia. In Addition, in August 2018 I upstarted an ongoing social media Fibromyalgia Awareness Campaign, which occurs every month called "Fourth Friday Fibro Day." This FM Awareness Event takes place on Facebook and Instagram on the 4th Friday of each month. I also do an annual social media campaign in the month of September, which is Chronic Pain Awareness Month, called "Faces of Pain Awareness Campaign" which outlines the experiences of chronic pain sufferers through photos and personal stories.It is through these various Social media Campaign that I am able to reach and connect with other Fibromyalgia Sufferers throughout the world and help them network and build their social support system on social media. Currently, my various awareness campaigns and my social media pages have reached and connected with individuals in over 30 different countries! If through my advocacy efforts, I can make 1 person with Fibromyalgia feel less alone and validated, then it gives my pain purpose! BIO: "Kristal is a Fibromyalgia Patient Leader Expert and Advocate and is diagnosed with Fibromyalgia as well. Utilizing her 20 years of social services professional experience, Kristal’s advocacy focuses on educating the Fibromyalgia Community on their illness and how to best advocate for their healthcare needs. As an Army Veteran, Kristal also advocates on behalf of Military Veterans diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. As an advocate Chronicling her experiences with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain, Kristal utilizes Social Media to provide the Fibromyalgia Community with up to date information/research about Fibromyalgia, provides support and validation for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Sufferers, promotes Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness with Social Media Awareness Campaigns along with advocates for the Fibromyalgia Community’s medical health needs. Utilizing the space of Social Media, Kristal helps connect and unite individuals with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain throughout the world, to help them build up their online network of friends, and social media support system. Kristal is the founder of The Fibromyalgia Pain Chronicles, Co-founder of Veteran Voices For Fibromyalgia and Founder of the National Alliance of Fibromyalgia Advocates. She serves as a Board of Trustee Member for the Fibromyalgia Care Society of America, Inc. as well as serves as a member on the Wego Health Patient Leader Advisory Board and is a Co-op Patient Member at Savvy Cooperative"

Location

Strongsville, OH

Nominations

Best in Show: Facebook Lifetime Achievement Patient Leader Hero

Kristal is amazing! She honorably served our country in the Army! She worked 20 years in social services helping people with developmental disabilities & mental illness. Despite her own illnesses she now advocates on behalf of those with Fibromyalgia and Military veterans alike, providing support, helping them obtain care and medical/VA benefits  — Tim

Past Awards Participation

2018 WEGO Health Awards

Winner

Patient Leader Hero Best in Show: Facebook

Sixth Annual WEGO Health Awards

Finalist

Advocating For Another Best in Show: Facebook Rookie of The Year
Kristal

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