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Made Visible is a podcast that gives a voice to people with invisible illnesses. This podcast aims to change the conversation around invisible illnesses, helping those who experience them —whether as patients, caregivers, or friends or family members — feel more seen and heard.
 
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It was only a couple years after Trish Gauthier’s son had been diagnosed with leukemia that she received her own diagnosis: breast cancer. Even though she had just had her physical and everything had looked great, Trish knew that something was off in her body. On today’s episode, Trish talks to me about how she’s advocated for herself and her son t…
 
As founder of #HalftheStory, Larissa "Larz" May is focused on an invisible struggle we’re all facing: our relationship with technology. Larz became aware of her own unhealthy relationship with social media during college, when she was experiencing challenging symptoms of depression and anxiety. On today’s episode, Larz and I talk about her mental h…
 
When Felicia Stingone talks about her brother, who has bipolar disorder, it’s clear how important this relationship is to her. She sees her brother as a person, not as his illness. As she starts to write a book about her experience as a “caring sibling” to her brother, she embraces that her story is both of their stories. On today’s episode, we tal…
 
Elizabeth Tikoyan didn’t always share her health story the way she does now. Diagnosed with Lyme disease in high school, she was very aware of the stigma around having a health condition. On today’s episode, Elizabeth tells me about her journey to get diagnosed, and how misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis led to her symptoms reaching a chronic stage. W…
 
For creative arts therapist Stephanie Omens, it’s all about storytelling--even in the most challenging of circumstances. She works with children who have illnesses or who have parents or siblings who are ill, and it’s her job to help them understand what they’re experiencing. On today’s episode, Stephanie talks about why white lies don’t serve kids…
 
When she was 15, Tricia Huffman made a big decision--she wanted to move through life in a different way. On today’s episode, Tricia and I talk about this choice, which was wrapped up in the emotional and physical pain of her then-undiagnosed invisible illness. We also discuss her eventual diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and how she managed her condition…
 
Since Pamela Hunter’s daughter Ransom was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder at age two-and-a-half, Pamela has done everything she can to get her daughter the help she needs. On today’s episode, we talk about what it means to be a parent to a child with this condition. We also talk about how difficult moments have given Pamela the convictio…
 
Fans know Este Haim for her ability to hold a killer baseline as part of HAIM, a band she formed with her two sisters, Danielle and Alana. Less well-known is the fact that Este was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in high school. On today’s episode, Este talks about how having a supportive family has meant that diabetes and music can always coexist i…
 
Jen Pastiloff has built her identity and career around connecting with people. She also has profound hearing loss and tinnitus and is deaf without her hearing aids. As a result, she’s had to cultivate other ways of understanding and hearing. On today’s episode, Jen and I talk about the specific challenges that come with tinnitus and hearing loss, t…
 
After Sonali Gupta was diagnosed with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy in 2008, she went on a trip to India with her dad to explore options for healing. As an NYU grad, Sonali had been eyeing a career in the music industry, but she found a health journey in India instead. She now lives in Mumbai, and is writing a memoir about this experience. On toda…
 
Mira Mariah thinks tattoos are rock 'n' roll, and so are disabled people. As she says, disabled people have to be really “innovative and creative”--and what’s more rock 'n' roll than that? Though Mira didn’t always associate with the word “disabled,” that sense of herself shifted once she had amputation surgery and got a prosthetic leg. On today’s …
 
For Quentin Vennie, despite having been diagnosed with acute anxiety and depression at 14, this wasn’t the focus as he grew up. The focus was on surviving, given that he lived in one of the most dangerous cities in America, had to contend with racism and prejudice, and lived in communities with limited resources. On today’s episode, I talk with Que…
 
When Devri Velazquez was diagnosed with Takayasu's arteritis at 20 years old, the prognosis was devastating. Doctors didn’t think she would live to age 21. On today’s episode, we talk about what Devri’s life looks like now, ten years after her diagnosis, and what it was like to hear such a scary prognosis when she was first diagnosed. We also talk …
 
Nikki Boyer put it best, when talking about her relationship with her best friend Molly: “We’re going to say the things that people don’t say.” On today’s episode, Nikki and I talk about “Dying for Sex,” the podcast she and Molly created to tell Molly’s story of navigating terminal cancer while also embracing sexual adventures. We also dig into the…
 
Jenn Donohue and her husband’s twins were born at 24 weeks, making them four months premature. On today’s episode, Jenn and I talk about how she and her husband navigated the “start and stop” feeling as they navigated their son’s health while also coping with the loss of their daughter, who passed away at one week old. We also talk about what the r…
 
Dr. Alexandra Freeman is an infectious diseases physician at the National Institutes of Health, and as she explains, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about COVID-19. Dr. Freeman first spoke on Episode #24, and I wanted to have her back to talk about what the pandemic has been like for her and her patients, who are people with primary i…
 
Sarah Ramey has a term for people like her. She calls herself a WOMI, or a “woman with a mysterious illness.” On today’s episode, Sarah tells me about the events that set her life as a WOMI in motion, and what it was like to be told over and over that her problems were psychosomatic. We also discuss her recently published book, The Lady’s Handbook …
 
Alisa Vitti wrote the book on women’s hormonal health--literally. WomanCode, her first book, was published in 2013, and it provides the education many women never knew they needed. A women’s hormone and functional nutrition expert, Alisa is the founder of FLOLiving.com. On today’s episode, we talk about her new book, how she developed the basis for…
 
John Boyle was diagnosed with X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) in 1978, when he was just six months old. On today’s episode, John and I talk about the routine management of his condition that allows him to live with minimal symptoms, and how taking care of his health was instilled in him at an early age. We also talk about his work with the Immune…
 
As a clinical psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Krystal Lewis is interested in how to make therapy, specifically cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), more effective for children and adolescents.On today’s episode, Krystal and I talk about what led to her interest in psychology, and how CBT can treat anxiety and increase re…
 
Right now, ban.do founder and CCO Jen Gotch was supposed to be on tour for her first book, “The Upside of Being Down.” But because of the coronavirus pandemic, the tour was cancelled. While she did feel sadness about that, as Jen says, her knee-jerk reaction when most things happen is, “this is going to be okay.” On today’s episode, Jen and I talk …
 
Like others with compromised immune systems, Jodi Taub’s life is at risk due to COVID-19. Jodi was diagnosed with primary immunodeficiency around 14 years ago, and she manages about 22 different health conditions as a result. On today’s episode, Jodi and I talk about recognizing that she felt unsafe in NYC, and what her new normal looks like. We al…
 
The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it. This crisis is a scary time for all of us, and it presents unique challenges for the invisible illness community. For this episode of Made Visible, we reached out to past podcast guests to hear how coronavirus is impacting their lives. As we face an era of physical distancing and isolation, w…
 
The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it. This crisis is a scary time for all of us, and it presents unique challenges for the invisible illness community. For this episode of Made Visible, we reached out to past podcast guests to hear how coronavirus is impacting their lives. As we face an era of physical distancing and isolation, w…
 
At age 26, Mickey Trescott had been diagnosed with both Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and celiac disease. With her symptoms becoming increasingly unmanageable, she decided to take her health into her own hands. On today’s episode, Mickey and I talk about her drive to learn about the impact of diet on autoimmune conditions, the role that experimenting wit…
 
Molly O’Malley Pitman’s son was diagnosed with autism before he was two years old. For Molly and her husband, the diagnosis was devastating, but it also gave her something to fight for. On today’s episode, Molly and I talk about how losing many family members to Huntington’s disease has influenced her life’s purpose, and how she aims to honor her f…
 
Katie Dalebout and Serena Wolf have embraced vulnerability when it comes to living with anxiety. They’re the hosts of Spiraling, dubbed an “optimistic” anxiety podcast, and they talk openly with me about what it means for them to live with anxiety, how they cultivate awareness around their mental health, and what strategies they’ve developed (or ar…
 
For Elana Safar, navigating the world isn’t always simple. That’s because she has multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), a condition where the body reacts to chemicals often found in perfumes, deodorants, cleaning solutions, and beyond. On today’s episode, Elana and I talk about the physical symptoms of MCS and how the condition impacts her day-to-da…
 
Amy Lacey created a cauliflower crust in her kitchen after deciding she would need to make nutrition changes to manage her lupus diagnosis. On today’s episode, Amy and I talk about the physical and emotional challenges that her health presented, and how inventing a tasty, healthy pizza crust that she and her family could enjoy helped restore “norma…
 
Developed at Columbia University in 2000, narrative medicine isn’t quite like any other discipline out there. On today’s episode, I talk with Catherine Rogers and Ben Samuel, who both teach writing in the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia. We discuss what students learn in narrative medicine creative writing classes, how an education in nar…
 
When employers come to Hannah Olson and ask her why they should hire people who have chronic illness, she has a lot to say. Hannah is the founder is Chronically Capable, a platform that connects people who are chronically ill or disabled with meaningful remote work. On today’s episode, Hannah and I talk about what it was like to balance her first p…
 
“Unremarkable.” That’s the word doctors have used to describe Beth Schrock’s test results, and it signals that her tests are coming back normal. For Beth, who has been living with nerve pain and mobility issues since 2017, this means she still doesn’t have a diagnosis for her symptoms. On today’s episode, Beth and I talk about how she’s learned to …
 
In 2007, Menna Olvera was introduced to Urban Zen Integrative Therapy, a healing modality founded by Donna Karan after her husband passed away. Now, as a UZIT practitioner, Menna supports patients and clients through five different healing modalities. On today’s episode, Menna and I talk about her journey to become a UZIT practitioner, and what pat…
 
As Jaime Walden explains, navigating Crohn’s disease is a little different than navigating other illnesses. Long story short: you might spend a lot of time being trapped in the bathroom. On today’s episode, we talk about Jaime’s long journey to a diagnosis, how she manages the often painful symptoms of a Crohn’s flare, the emotional component of th…
 
Corinne Gray was diagnosed with depression during university, but for most of her 20s, she didn’t deal with her diagnosis head on. On today’s episode, Corinne and I talk about her decision to start managing her symptoms, and what living with depression has been like for her (including her experience as a caregiver for her husband, who has leukemia)…
 
For Erica Matluck, part of her job as a naturopathic doctor is to be a teacher. By providing education to her patients, she aims to make them feel empowered about their health. On today’s episode, Erica and I talk about what drove her to explore naturopathic medicine, and why she looks at the big picture of physical, mental, spiritual, and emotiona…
 
When Ashley Weiss was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, it changed everything in her life. On today’s episode, Ashley and I talk about the realities of living with POTS, the difficult diagnostic testing she went through, and the decision to postpone her wedding. We also talk about adjusting to life with chronic illn…
 
Adrienne Nolan-Smith isn’t interested in healthcare approaches that slap a band-aid on the problem. For her, it’s about getting to the root cause. On today’s episode, Adrienne and I talk about her diagnosis with Lyme disease at age 9, and how her mom’s pursuit to find her treatment options led to some unconventional scenarios, but also helped her f…
 
Growing up, Russell Markus didn’t understand his mom’s chronic pain, but severe knee pain as an adult made him realize the reality of what she had been dealing with for decades. On today’s episode, Russell and I talk about his shift in awareness about his mom’s experience, and how he chose to start Lily CBD before CBD was the trend it is today. We …
 
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