It’s Never Too Late – Finding Community Support is Key


During the past few months, many of my professional colleagues and friends have asked me how I have been able to tap the resilience needed to reinvent myself many times. Most recently, I have been lucky enough to find several supportive communities.

As an adolescent girl who loved math and science before it was cool, as a women dentist before it was mainstream, and as a woman on Wall Street, I used to often feel like a misfit. But now, nerds and misfits are cool!

That is why I fell in love with digital health, where I found a community of innovative, creative folks who value new ideas to fix big problems. Thank you Don Jones, Halle Tecco, Leslie Saxon, Jil Gilbert, and Larry Chu for opening my mind and heart to this new world of possibilities.

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First, I fell in the love with the open spirit of collaboration at Rock Health where their XX in Health initiative encourages women of all ages to learn to speak up and be heard.

Then, I was inspired by the power of storytelling at the Center for Body Computing  and the Digital Health Summit. This inspiration ignited my passion to bring my personal awareness of the increasing incidence of autoimmune disease in young adults to a new audience at Greatist.

Next, I felt compelled to bring the problem to the pharma community at Data to Drugs where “Judy Jetson Reimagines Autoimmune Disease.”

But Judy needed to grow up for the Stanford Medicine X audience and I was stumped, until I saw Ed Saxon after my Bar class and the concept of the “Lonely Voices of Autoimmune Disease” videos was born!

Most recently at Stanford Medicine X, which values new ideas and experimentation, I let go of “wanting to be accepted by mainstream medicine.” Instead, I used my deep research and personal experience to guide my big picture vision of how we might make “The Lonely Voices of Autoimmune Disease” less lonely.

When Dennis Boyle of Ideo complimented me on my creativity and analysis of the autoimmune market, it was a moment of personal triumph. Although I still do not think of myself as a creative type, I knew I had found “my people.”

Do you have a story of community support leading to personal triumph?

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