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Ashlyn Gierling (She/Her)

State: Texas

Chronic Conditions: Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Dysautonomia, Paresthesia

My journey began during my freshman year of college in 2022. Starting off the school year with roommate issues and mold-infested dorms, only progressed into ER visits and misdiagnosed anxiety to finally a dysautonomia diagnosis in 2023. I, then, transferred to a university closer to home to continue searching for answers to my medical issues. Now, in 2024, I have been diagnosed with POTS and Paresthesia, still searching for relief. I have difficulty regulating heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure among a myriad of other regulation issues. I have found peace in knowing God has a plan for my chronic illness. Despite my illnesses, I am graduating a year and a half early for my bachelor's degree with 2 certificates. I will be continuing into graduate school and advocating for others with chronic illnesses to seek adequate and affordable care without being treated anything less than with respect.

Advocating for chronic illness is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it raises awareness about the daily struggles and unique needs of individuals living with chronic conditions. This awareness helps combat misconceptions and reduces the stigma, often associated with chronic illness. Additionally, advocacy drives policy changes aimed, at improving access to healthcare, medication affordability, and workplace accommodations. By sharing my, personal experiences and insights, I can provide support, and encouragement to others facing similar challenges, fostering a sense of community and empowerment. Advocating for chronic illness is about promoting inclusivity, and ensuring that everyone, regardless of health status, has the support and resources needed to live fulfilling lives. It's a vital step towards creating a more understanding and compassionate society.

I want to help give a voice to those who feel that no one is listening because of their condition.