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We took some time to get to know one of our newest ambassadors, Rebecca Weiner. Learn more about Rebecca and how she can help you on your chronic journey!

Hi everyone! I’m Rebecca and I live in New Jersey. I enjoy volunteering, traveling, reading, and spending time with my friends & family. I am currently a full-time student studying public health. I’m particularly passionate about health equity! A few fun facts about me are that I can play the ukulele, I have a brother, and I have been on one of the longest zip lines in the caribbean!

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What advice do you have for someone who has recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness?

The first piece of advice that I would give to someone who has recently been diagnosed is for them to take time to process this information. Receiving a chronic illness diagnosis can be very overwhelming. It’s helpful to speak with other people in the chronic illness community through support groups or social media in order to feel less alone. You can learn additional advice, tips, and make friends who truly understand what you are experiencing.

Secondly, it’s important to communicate with your physicians and providers, so that you can receive care that is best for you and your chronic illness. You know your body better than anyone else, so it’s advantageous to advocate for yourself when it’s necessary.

Lastly, don’t give up because you can live a very happy and successful life with chronic illnesses! There will be ups and downs throughout your journey, but it’s certainly possible to continue to work toward achieving your goals!

In your opinion, what is the best way to advocate for chronic disease patients?

I believe that the best way to advocate for chronic disease patients is by communicating. People who are living with chronic diseases can share their stories in order to educate others. Contacting your local, state, and national legislators to advocate for issues that are pertinent to chronic diseases can make a huge difference. The more knowledge and awareness that is spread, the more changes that can be made to support chronic illness patients. A great way to get started is by getting involved with chronic disease and patient advocacy organizations in order to help make a difference!

If you have a chronic illnesses and are in need of support or would just like someone to talk to who is also living with chronic illnesses, you can reach out to me on social media (Instagram @rebeccaweiner_).

Interested in becoming a CDC ambassador? Learn more about the program and apply on our website!