After an exciting year of collaborating with our NEA Ambassadors, we asked Susy Valle, NEA Senior Manager of Programs, to reflect on everything the Ambassadors have accomplished.
1. Ambassadors realized their own power and influence.
Through participating in NEA’s advocacy, research and community outreach initiatives, Ambassadors learned that their personal experience with eczema gives them expertise that puts them in a position to make a meaningful difference. For some, this realization uncovered a whole new purpose. “As a NEA Ambassador, I have learned not only how to advocate for myself, but also how to advocate for other people in the eczema community who are suffering. This is, oddly, a really wonderful and gratifying feeling to be able to help other people through the expertise I’ve gained with my own suffering.” —Ambassador Carrie C.
2. Ambassadors joined NEA in our pursuit of a better future.
Ambassadors were motivated to represent the eczema community. Their desire to improve the lives of people with eczema and their loved ones has grown and gained momentum. Ambassadors’ collective action increased eczema awareness, advanced research and amplified our advocacy efforts for improved access to treatment and care.
3. The program created and fostered a community of people with a shared interest in making a difference.
Ambassadors experienced the power of finding a community and a place of understanding. For many Ambassadors, joining the program meant not only meeting another person with eczema and/or a caregiver of a child with eczema for the first time, it meant joining an entire community of people with a shared experience.
4. Ambassadors showed up ready to learn.
Ambassadors took advantage of access to exclusive educational conferences where they learned from world class experts and connected with other members of the eczema community. Knowledge gained from conferences empowered Ambassadors with information that can be applied to improve their own care, as well as care for the entire eczema community. “I am so happy to get information for myself, so that I can gently steer my providers! I know much more about my eczema than the providers I have seen.” —Suzanna H.
5. Ambassadors were heard.
Eczema community members have many stories to tell, and policymakers, the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare providers want and need to hear them. Each and every Ambassador opportunity places a patient or caregiver in a position of influence, and NEA Ambassadors have taken full advantage of their seat at the table: speaking out with courage and contributing the expertise that they alone are qualified to convey — what it’s like to live with eczema and what is needed to improve the lives of millions of patients and caregivers.
Read some of our Ambassadors’ stories:
- NEA Questionnaire: Jim Hewlett
- Eczema and the Path to Healing
- NEA Ambassador Questionnaire: Patricia Cervini | National Eczema Association
- NEA Ambassador Questionnaire: Justin-Oneil Ramos | National Eczema Association
- When your skin is clear, but the emotional scars remain
6. Ambassadors helped change the way people think about eczema.
Not only did Ambassadors share stories to change how pharma companies and healthcare providers see eczema, Ambassadors changed in how they view their own eczema.
“I used to cringe thinking about my eczema. For so many years — like my entire life — I was so embarrassed to talk about it openly. Now, the days of hiding my eczema are over. I truly feel that the only way we’re going to find more cures and support is if we continue to raise awareness.“ —Patricia C.
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