Chronicon, the first-ever conference dedicated to the chronic illness patient, will debut on Oct. 28 in New York City. Yet chronic illness, referred to as “anyone who doesn’t feel 100% well physically, emotionally or mentally,” remains difficult to recognize and define.
Founded by advocate Nitika Chopra, Chronicon works to elevate visibility for chronic illness patients. The event, created in partnership with Healthline, will feature presentations from health experts, disability activists, hormonal health coaches and more, plus plant-based bites from The Little Beet and original musical performances.
Though Chronicon is broadreaching in scope, Chopra says it all began with a simple idea. A chronic illness conference had never been done before, and she kept it to herself for six months before taking action.
Chronicon’s Founder: Nitika Chopra
Diagnosed with two chronic illnesses, Chopra has a familiarity with lifelong adverse health conditions. Her experiences with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis give her a patient perspective, while her life in the public eye provides a platform to share her knowledge.
Her efforts to bring attention to the chronic illness movement began with a podcast called The Point of Pain and an e-book on psoriasis. Now, Chopra aims to provide an inclusive space where patients with chronic illness can feel seen and supported.
“There’s a part of you that always feels like you’re the only one,” Chopra shared during an episode of Woke and Wired podcast with host Ksenia Avdulova. “A huge part of my mission is to let us know we’re not alone.”
The Chronicon website cites that 45% of the U.S. population has at least one chronic illness today — a rate that is expected to rise to 49% by 2030. As the prevalence of chronic conditions rises, the lack of public discourse remains one of the biggest obstacles for those affected.
“This is not a niche market,” Chopra said in the same interview, citing a statistic by The National Health Council, which indicates 157 million people will suffer from chronic illness by the year 2020.
The practice of normalizing discussions on personal pain promotes a future where all health journeys are seen and accepted. This is where the event’s stigma-stomping schedule comes into play, with guest speakers sharing their own chronic illness experiences.
Chronicon Speakers: A Quick List
Read about a few of our most-anticipated Chronicon sessions and speakers.
Many chronic illnesses are “invisible,” meaning people can feel sick without looking the part. Dr. Tay Ahmed, a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation specializing in pelvic pain, will advise on how to self-advocate when symptoms are dismissed by medical professionals.
Debilitating symptoms caused by vaginal mesh are often ignored, and these stories show just how detrimental denial from doctors and other medical professionals can be.
Diabetes advocate Paloma Kemak, founder of the digital brand Glitter Glucose, will speak on a panel about creating a business as a health advocate and influencer.
Social media is powerful, and there are a number of women who use the struggles they faced to advocate for others and even institute change on a federal level.
There’s a difference between victimhood and vulnerability — but where’s the line? Dani Candray, an alopecia curve model signed with Natural Models L.A., will be speaking on a panel about living with (and accepting) chronic illness.
Alopecia can affect anyone. It can be caused by genetics, a response to environmental exposures or as a side effect of medications like Taxotere.
Women’s hormonal health expert Nicole Jardim, who coaches women on how to heal their menstrual cycles and balance hormones, will speak on the topic of stigmas in society. The session, “Chronically Capable of Love,” focuses on how to date with chronic illness.
Hormone imbalances can cause a multitude of symptoms, from mood changes to a decreased ability to read emotions. All these factors can affect both emerging and long-standing relationships.
A Chronically Conscious Celebration
After the speakers and sessions, Chronicon guests can join in the chronically conscious celebration. The evening will end with a musical performance from the Resistance Revival Chorus, hair health consultations, sexual health vision boards and catered treats from Cali’Flour Foods.
Chronicon is set to be a special affair for those who bravely cope with chronic illness. While we learn how others cope with chronic conditions, we stand with those who refuse to let it define them.
You’re not alone.
By MedTruth Editors
Originally published OCTOBER 9, 2019