How long have you lived with eczema?
Off and on since I was a toddler. Sometimes I went decades without a flare. It started reoccurring in my late 20s and got really stubborn and steroid-resistant in my mid 50s (I’m 57).
What is the quality you like most in yourself?
Resilience and positivity.
Who is your favorite musician?
Andrea Bocelli. Also, anything by Thievery Corporation, Beastie Boys, Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Moby and Pet Shop Boys.
Do you have any pets? What are their names?
Our Sun Conure (parrot) named Lorenzo. Anyone who has ever owned a parrot knows they keep you on your toes! They require a LOT of attention and engagement. We love taking Lorenzo on long walks, to outdoor events and anywhere where he’ll get noticed and photographed (he’s a bit of a ham).
Which living person do you most admire?
The fourteenth Dalai Lama (a close second is Thich Nhat Hanh). I gravitate towards peacekeepers.
What was the last great TV show you watched?
I’m more of a Netflix/Hulu/Prime person, so probably Ozark, Schitt’s Creek, The Handmaid’s Tale or Better Call Saul.
What is your favorite indulgence that makes you flare (but you do it anyway)?
Infrared sauna sessions. Hot temperatures and high humidity make my eczema worse, but the sauna is great for aches and pain relief.
Choose one: A) ability to fly or B) powers of invisibility.
Powers of invisibility. I’m kind of afraid of heights.
What do you consider the most common misconception about eczema?
That there’s no treatment; that you just have to live with it.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My current partner, Henry, and also my best friend whom I’ve known since I was one year old and she was two years old, Carole. Also, every pet that I’ve ever owned.
When and where were you happiest?
When everything on my “to do” list is checked off, or immediately after a great yoga or Zumba class. The “where” is in nature or on an airplane headed to an international destination.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To play a musical instrument, or to be a master gardener/herbalist.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Long-standing relationships with some of the most smartest, savviest, kind, cool women and men on this planet.
Who are your eczema heroes?
The parents who care for babies, toddlers and children with eczema.
If you could learn to speak another language, which language would you pick to learn?
What do you most value in your friends?
What’s the worst thing about having eczema?
The itch. The stares.
What’s the best thing about having eczema?
It forces you to listen to your body and protect it to the best of your ability.
You’re hosting a dinner party and you can invite any three people you want, living or dead: who do you invite and why?
Marie Antoinette, Gandhi and Oprah.
Patricia Cervini is a NEA Ambassador. Learn more and join NEA Ambassadors today.
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