Chelsea Freund

Hidradenitis Suppurativa Disease Community Advocate Chelsea FreundChelsea 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.” Overall, She’s no stranger to challenges. Chelsea has 7 rare diseases and 12 not-so-rare diseases, and they are all constantly shifting around like pots and pans on a hot stovetop. She tries to keep her sense of humor throughout her healthcare journey.

Chelsea was trained in the arts, including theater, singing, playing violin/clarinet/piano, dance and writing, but ended up having a career in IT and the legal side of real estate for a few decades for the sake of financial stability. Chelsea returned to school to become an RN, but the housing crash in 2008, and then her own body deciding to manifest extreme challenges shortly after that resulted in 10 unsuccessful shunt surgeries and filing for disability. It was because of what she went through as a rare and chronic disease patient and what she witnessed others going through that she decided to help others find whatever resources they needed in order to survive and thrive.

Having such a diverse background – the arts, IT, nursing – seems to be just the right combination to help others. It’s easy to have conversations with strangers if common ground can be found, and just a few keywords can lead to discovering that a person might need assistance with finding resources. Chelsea believes we are all in this together and we need to take care of each other.

Click here to read all of Chelsea’s articles on HSDisease.com

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