Kerri MacKay was diagnosed with asthma in 2008 at age 16; in 2013 she was diagnosed with ADHD + learning issues, as well as uterine fibroids at 21. After her own diagnosis, Kerri sought to find other young people with asthma—in 2009 her ePatient journey began with a blog, hoping to find a community to help navigate the ups and downs of life with asthma. The community was small but it was empowering. Kerri was a hater of gym class when diagnosed with asthma—the asthma didn't help. Thanks to friends she met online, and joining a high school dance class-spending an hour a day flailing about with minimal coordination-she learned exercise doesn’t have to suck, even with asthma. She completed her Bachelor of Physical & Health Education in 2014, after a couple of rough years academically, leading to a diagnosis of severe ADHD + learning issues. Kerri’s degree in a related field informs her advocacy work + writing: patient perspective combined with making research approachable. Over the years, Kerri has continued sharing her story, connecting with patients around the world, helping empower people living with asthma. Kerri is a Stanford MedicineX ePatient Scholar, a past presenter at MedicineX ED, Canadian Severe Asthma Network Patient Lead, and a peer mentor for Asthma Canada’s mentorship program for kids, Asthma Pals. Kerri is a member of the Patient Advisors Network: her core project is a conference evaluation survey for patients—after mentioning the idea in a coffee shop with the right peers around! She is an administrator for the Smart Girls with ADHD Facebook group. Through these roles, she affirms that her diagnoses do not define her, but help explain her! Kerri writes for work and fun (often simultaneously!). She is Communications Coordinator for Pacific Hepatitis C Network, a role opening her eyes to issues in health, social justice and advocacy. She is excited about how patient communities can learn together and collaborate toward improved healthcare for all.
Health Activist Hero Nominee
I’m a Patient Leader