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 military veteran, I also worked 20 in the Social Services Developmental Disability and Mental Health Fields. 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, With 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! Thus, 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 friends and family, along with help others battling Fibromyalgia. 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 host 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. 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

Cleveland , OH

Nominations

Best in Show: Facebook

Finalist

Advocating For Another Best in Show: Facebook Rookie of The Year Best in Show: Community Lifetime Achievement Patient Leader Hero

Winner

Patient Leader Hero Best in Show: Facebook

Kristal is an amazing advocate for all who suffer with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. She spreads awareness as well as validation for these conditions that are often times dismissed even by the medical community or at the very least misunderstood by the general public. She deserves much recognition for her tireless work.  — Wendy

Kristal is a passionate Advocate promoting Fibromyalgia Awareness! Her insight, positivity and relatability has helped bring Fibromyalgia to the forefront, helping people learn and better understand this medical disorder. Kristal's outreach and support to fellow fibromyalgia sufferers has made a huge impact on the social media fibro community!  — KRISTAL

She is always kind and knowledgeable. Optimistic and eager to help others with fibromyalgia. Everyone needs a cheerleader like Krystal.

Kristal works hard to bring the most current info on Fibromyalgia and provides support & love to the Fibro Community, all the while staying positive and full of hope. She maintains a safe space for all us Fibro Fighters on Facebook to learn and support each other. Kristal and her Facebook Page The Fibromyalgia Pain Chronicles is THE Best! Love Her!  — Tim

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

Kristal has managed to create an uplifting, supportive and educational safe space on Facebook for those living with fibromyalgia. Her community leadership provides newcomers an area to engage openly. Even though I don't have fibro, as a person living with RA- a chronic illness with no known cure, I find myself being able to relate to some content.  — Effie

WEGO Health is lucky to have Kristal on their team! An advocate, an constant reminder of who we all should be as patient leaders!  — Lita

I’m nominating Kristal because of the love and empathy she has for her fellow Fibro Warriors!!  — Delissa

Kristal

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