To connect and empower young adults with chronic and rare diseases through advocacy events and programs.
The Health Advocacy Summits are daylong, no-cost events for young adults (between 13 and 30) with chronic and rare diseases. We want to enable our attendees with the support, knowledge, and skills to become strong advocates for themselves and their communities.
Our summits typically consist of four discussion-based sessions led by a mix of speakers. Past summits have included presentations by established activists, doctors, psychologists, healthcare lobbyists, and social workers. Additionally, our summits are a chance for young people to connect with others their age who are going through a similar struggle and build a network of support.
a Note from our founder
The Health Advocacy Summit was created out of my own experience living with severe ulcerative colitis since the age of six.
I was extremely ill for the majority of my childhood and, because of the severity of my disease, I was isolated from society for nearly five years during a crucial stage in my development. At 14, my large intestine was removed, followed by several other surgeries conducted in an attempt to give me a better quality of life. By my junior year of high school, I was finally able to go back to school full-time. Unfortunately, a chronic disease is exactly that –chronic– and while my condition is not as severe as it once was; it has had lasting effects on my childhood and my life as a young adult.
Your young adulthood is supposed to be the “prime” of your life. The time to figure out who you are and the person you want to become. But it isn’t easy to form any kind of identity, to socialize, or to take advantage of all the opportunities that life has to offer, when you’re sick and coping with the physical and emotional scars of a chronic illness. My story is long and intersectional, as are the stories of millions of other young adults living with chronic diseases, but there is monumental hope in coming together.
When I created the Health Advocacy Summit as a freshman in college, I did so as a way to heal and connect with my Indiana community. I did not realize the impact we would have across the country, within just two years of being established. At the Health Advocacy Summit, our goal is to build a sustainable movement that will empower the voices of young adults living with chronic conditions and ensure that they are given the opportunities and resources they need to thrive.
Thank you for your time in viewing our website and we hope you will join our cause. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to become a supporter, volunteer, or to simply share your story.
Founder & Executive Director, Health Advocacy Summit