Community Advocates

In order to stay up to date on latest treatments, drug discovery, clinical studies and how to cope with hidradenitis suppurativa every day, HSDisease.com brings you frequent articles, points of view and advice from leading patient advocates and experts.

Current advocates

Gabriella Birzh

Gabriella Birzh is a 22 year old paralegal from New York City who hopes to attend law school in the near future. She was diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa when she was 18 years old, after months of various doctors misdiagnosing her. Read more.

Allyson Byers

Allyson Byers is an HS warrior who has been battling this disease since she was diagnosed at the age of 22. She first shared her story for SELF Magazine and has been writing first-person essays and reported articles about HS ever since. She is passionate about helping others learn how to advocate for themselves to get the best possible care. Read more.

Keevin Collier

Keevin Collier Sr. discovered his passion for the outdoors at a young and impressionable age. This connection to the outdoors kept him out of trouble as a teen and still influences his life's work today. In 2009 Collier was diagnosed with "HS" (Hidradenitis Suppurativa), a skin disease that lands in top 5 most painful conditions affecting xx number of people globally. Read more.

Cooper

Cooper Corvus (Or Coop, as their friends call them) is a chronically ill & disabled activist with a passion for advocacy, true crime, heating pads, and vegan junk food. They are a non-binary queer who uses She/They pronouns and lives in Toronto, Canada with her 4 rescued pets (2 cats and 2 dogs). Coop is a passionate person who loves music (She plays 10 different instruments) movies, art, and any book she can get her hands on. Read more.

Lauren Dicair

Lauren is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Sexologist. She has extensive experience as a psychotherapist and medical case manager providing emotional support and education to clients managing a wide variety of chronic health conditions. Read more.

Jasmine Espy

Jasmine "IVANNA" Espy is a journalist and filmmaker from Detroit, Michigan residing in Los Angeles County, California. IVANNA is a 27-year-old living with Hidradenitis Suppurativa. She was diagnosed at the tender age of 11. Since then, it's been her desire to spread awareness and advocate for the community. It's taken her over a decade to be able to speak out about living with HS, but she is finally here. Read more.

Selina Ferragamo

Selina Ferragamo is a 25 year old librarian from Long Island, New York. Although she’s suffered from Hidradenitis Suppurativa since high school, she only first found out what it was when she needed to get her first surgery for it at age 22. 3 surgeries later, she still is suffering from HS and hopes to speak out about her experience living with it. Read more.

Chaz Frazier

Chaz Frazier is a sports broadcasting graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Read more.

Chelsea Freund

Chelsea is like many patients with autoimmune diseases; where one lurks, others tag along as well. She was diagnosed with HS in 2017 after struggling and having symptoms for 9 years. She has had nearly every treatment listed for HS, and has a somewhat funny story about the “blue light.” Read more.

Mandira Harinath

Mandira Harinath is a 32-year-old freelance writer from India. She likes to write about topics related to health, nutrition, and lifestyle. Raised by a single mother and maternal grandmother, Mandira grew up in Bangalore, Karnataka. Read more.

Tia Ivy

Tia Ivy is a patient advocate that has helped educate HS patients and bring awareness to the disease since 2018. In addition, Tia has used her experience to promote HS awareness in several social media campaigns. Read more.

Jessica Mangiaracina PA-C

Jessica Mangiaracina is a Dermatology Physician Associate practicing in Westchester New York. She diagnoses and treats general dermatologic disorders, conducts full body cancer screenings, performs skin biopsies, melanoma imaging, suturing, and wound care. Read more .

Isela Nataly

Isela is an HS warrior born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. She was 13 when symptoms began, but was not diagnosed until she was 17. Now in her mid-20’s, Isela is a social worker and victim advocate in her community. Read more.

Pooja Parikh

One morning, the summer before her sophomore year of college, Pooja Parikh awoke and could not sit up due to immense pain and pressure on her sternum. What her doctors initially thought was a localized bacterial infection led to over a dozen courses of antibiotics, harmful misdiagnoses, and half a dozen surgeries before she was correctly diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa two years later. Read more.

Chelsea Perry

Chelsea is a holistic lifestyle blogger and Hidradenitis Suppurativa advocate who uses social media to bring awareness to chronic illness. With a Bachelor's degree in Public Health from the University of South Carolina, Chelsea's passion for health and wellness inspired her to create an online social platform to inspire others. Read more.

Rebecca Quinn

My name is Rebecca Quinn & I’m 24 years old and from a small village in county Donegal in Ireland. I have suffered from Hidradenitis Suppurativa since I was 13 years old but I didn’t receive I diagnosis until I was 21. Read more.

Tk Sellman

TK Sellman, RPSGT CCSH is a career journalist (Columbia Chicago, ’90). She was diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia in 2010, which inspired her to go back to school to become a sleep technologist in 2012 and a professional sleep educator in 2014. Read more.

Kathryn Shusta

Kathryn Shusta is a social worker and health advocate. She is 28 years old and has had Hidradenitis Suppurativa since she was 10. Kathryn was diagnosed by a dermatologist when she was 17 years old and it was a huge relief to have a name for these symptoms. Read more.

Meera Thirtha

Meera Thirtha is a single mother and lives in India. When she was in her late thirties her husband passed away. With an ageing mother and a young daughter to care for, Meera had to work full-time to support the family. Read more.

Joey Torre

At the age of 18 was the age when Joey was diagnosed with Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Now, with more than 14-years of living with HS along with trying almost everything under the sun in hopes to attempt to properly manage this horrible life-long illness, Joey finally feels as if he has somewhat of a good grip on controlling his condition. Read more.

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