I have been living with HS for 27 years. I first experienced symptoms at age six, although diagnosis would take quite a bit longer. After 13 years of numerous dermatology appointments, surgery consults, and hormone specialty clinics both in the US and abroad, I was finally diagnosed with HS. I mark the moment of my diagnosis as the point when I became driven to learn all that I could about HS. This drive was later forged into advocacy and the pursuit of my dream of becoming a physician.
I am extremely passionate about advocating for pediatric patients and emphasizing the importance of the psychological impact of the condition throughout a child's development, a passion I attribute to my experiences as a child dealing with HS. My most powerful memories as a child with HS have shaped my emphasis on compassionate and integrative care delivery to every patient, which acknowledges the role of diet, nutrition, social relationships, and self-esteem in disease management.
Throughout the years, my experience with HS has deepened my understanding of the health disparities within our community, ranging from lack of access to sustainable and quality dermatological care, rising medication costs, and the impact of rurality and ethnicity on health outcomes.
I hope as a future dermatologist I can contribute to reduce some of these barriers, understand disease pathophysiology, establish management guidelines, and develop new methods in how to impactfully care for patients.
Throughout this journey, I have resoundingly felt the support of the online HS community and been honored to learn and connect with so many people suffering from HS around the world. I credit the motivation, compassion and grit of our diverse community as an inspiration and hope to use my work and platform to inch us closer and closer to a cure.