It’s that time of year again! It’s time to celebrate fellow patient leaders with the WEGO Health Awards. I’m thrilled to say that I’ve been nominated for the 10th Annual WEGO Health Awards in a number of categories. This post tells you what the awards are about and how you can help by endorsing me, especially if I’ve made a difference in your own health journey.
WHAT IS WEGO HEALTH?
WEGO Health began recognizing patient leaders and their role in educating the public about health in 2011 with the first WEGO Health Awards. With over 100,000 patient advocates registered, WEGO Health is the world’s largest network of patient leaders. We are transforming healthcare by centering the discussion around patient experts.WEGO Health Awards 2021 – Carrie Kellenberger – "Working together – patients, caregivers, medical professionals, and healthcare companies – means better healthcare for all." Click To Tweet
WEGO Health offers paid opportunities to patient leaders by providing access to collaborations with healthcare companies who want to learn more about patient needs and expertise. Their platform provides valuable training courses for patient leaders who are looking to expand on their health advocacy mission.
The absolute best part about WEGO Health is connecting with other patients around the world. My world and community has expanded since I joined WEGO Health.
After my community launched me into the Finalist category for Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020, I made it a personal mission to reach out to other finalists. Why? Because we can learn from each other!
In particular, the finalists in the category I was in have become a regular part of my daily life online. I love hearing from them. Even better, my knowledge base has expanded by learning about health issues that they advocate for.
I love talking to other patient leaders about what they are doing in their own communities. Best of all, you’re learning with other people who get what you’re going through. WEGO Health patient leaders are people who will provide support and friendship along the way.
WHAT ARE THE WEGO HEALTH AWARDS?
The WEGO Health Awards have been around since 2011. This year, they are celebrating their 10th Annual Awards ceremony with more than 96,000 patient leaders that have been nominated across 16 award categories. It was created as a way to celebrate patient voices and to thank patients and caregivers who share, educate, support, and inspire. This event shines a spotlight on everyone who works to improve the lives of patients around the world while celebrating patient leaders who are making in impact with health advocacy.
It also provides an opportunity for readers of various online communities to support their favorite health advocates who have been helpful in their community. It’s a time of year when we can all celebrate the amazing patient leaders who are working to change healthcare!
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP
Will you consider endorsing/voting for me for the WEGO Health Awards? Visit my WEGO Health profile to learn more about me.
In June 2021, I was blown away by the nominations that came in across 12 out of 16 award categories. Taking a moment to acknowledge someone’s hard work means the world to them! The nominations and kind words that people wrote about my work reassured me that I am accomplishing my goal of reaching as many people as possible with my work.
You can endorse me across all 12 award categories or you can choose any of the top five categories in my list below. (Endorsement phase closed for 2021.)
Here are the categories I’ve been nominated for:
- Lifetime Achievement Award
- Patient Leader Hero
- Best in Show: Blog – MySeveralWorlds.com
- Advocating For Another – The foundation of my work with My Several Worlds is assisting other chronically ill patients in Taiwan and Asia who need support, information, or assistance in learning how to navigate a foreign healthcare system.
- Best in Show: Community – My public FB profile is where most of the conversations happen.
- Best Kept Secret
- Best in Show: Facebook
- Best in Show: Instagram – I also advocate through my personal IG.
- Best in Show: Twitter
- Healthcare Collaborator
- Rookie of the Year
- Hilarious Patient Leader
If I’ve made a difference in your health journey, please consider nominating me for the WEGO Health Awards. The endorsement phase of the WEGO Health Awards runs from July 1st to July 31st. The more endorsements I receive, the better my chances are of being launched into a finalist category once again!
Best of all, you’ll help me reach even more patients around the world who are looking for advice or a friendly ear to help them through their own health journey.
WHAT MY COMMUNITY HAS SAID ABOUT MY WORK THIS YEAR
MY BLOGGING JOURNEY AND MY WORK AS A WEGO HEALTH ADVOCATE AND NOMINEE
My advocacy journey started in 2009. I have been blogging since 2007, but didn’t receive my first diagnosis in Taiwan until 2009. After suffering since my early 20s, I found out I had what was then known as Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is now referred to as Axial Sponyloarthritis.
My goal is to help other English speaking patients find help and support. I got into patient advocacy by writing about my own difficulties in finding a doctor to help me in Taiwan. I was eventually successful, but it took a long time to figure out how to find the right doctor, where to go, and what was available to me here as a Canadian in Taiwan. This made me realize that other patients were going through the same thing and I could offer my own patient experience as advice for where to go and what kind of things are available in English here in Taiwan.
This is not an easy task for foreigners in Asia, especially when you’re navigating health care systems in a different language. I began blogging about health care and health advocacy in Taiwan in 2009 after realizing there was a gap and a need for information in English for newly diagnosed patients.
Since starting this project, I’ve connected with hundreds of patients in Taiwan and Asia. I was (and still am) the only patient leader who leads a global team of walkers called The Walking Spondies. We’ve been walking since 2014 to raise awareness for Ankylosing Spondylitis with Walk AS One. Our goal each year is to walk, raise awareness, and to reach people around the world to let them know that AS is not a rare disease.
In 2014, I started blogging regularly about fibromyalgia and MECFS. Since I’ve started sharing and providing information in English, many patients have asked me where they can go for help and what kinds of support they can receive in Asia.
Taiwan does not have health organizations that operate in the same way as Western health organizations. My goal is to let other patients here in Taiwan and in Asia know that they are not alone.
RECAP: The 9th Annual WEGO Health Awards Ceremony – 2020
I was lucky enough to be endorsed by my community last year for the 2020 WEGO Health Awards and I ended up at the Awards ceremony as a finalist for Lifetime Achievement Award!
Receiving your words of encouragement and support meant the world to me last year and I hope I can get there again.
Endorsements let patient advocates know that you appreciate the work and time that we put into our advocacy work. It’s an easy way to make someone smile. It’s a simple way to encourage an advocate to KEEP ON GOING.
Knowing that my story has reached people and that it helps others through difficult times in their own lives gives me peace of mind.
I’m grateful anytime I receive a message from another patient or caregiver telling me how my words have helped them!
There are thousands of incredible patient leaders on the WEGO Health platform that you can nominate and endorse. If you’re looking for information on a specific health topic, they’re easy to find and I know they’d also appreciate being endorsed for their hard work.
I’ve included WEGO Health’s video from their 2020 award ceremony here and I’ve skipped to the part in this video where you can see my work featured as a Finalist for Lifetime Achievement Award. But this video is worth watching to see how amazing these patients advocates are! Every single one of them deserves recognition for their work.
WHAT I HOPE TO ACHIEVE IN 2021
Now that nominations are complete, I’m hoping I can reach the finalist stage once again for one of these categories:
- Lifetime Achievement Award
- Patient Leader Hero
- Best in Show: Blog
- Advocating For Another
- Best in Show: Community
If you’re looking for friendship and support from people who understand what you’re going though and you’re living with AS and/or fibromyalgia, you are welcome to join my private Facebook support group for women living with AS and fibromyalgia. It’s a safe place to connect with other women.
If you’re here for some other reason, I promise I can point you in the right direction for health information. Use my Contact page to get in touch and know that I understand the daily challenges of living with chronic and complex diseases. I’m here for you.
Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to write about my advocacy work and to those of you who have nominated and endorsed me.
No matter what happens, my readers and supporters have already made me feel like a winner.