Meet Sneha Dave, Founder of The Health Advocacy Summit. She created a movement for young adults living with chronic illness out of her own Patient Experience.
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. My own experience living with severe ulcerative colitis began at the age of six. 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.