UPDATE: I was successfully funded to attend the TEDMED conference. Thank you to everyone who donated to this campaign.

Read my thank you message to every one who supported my crowdfunding campaign.

My original appeal for funding is available to read below. Thanks again!


It has been said that the most underutilized resource in health care is the patient. Let’s break this barrier!

Ever since I was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008, I have been working hard to represent the patient voice in health care through advocacy, public policy, and more recently, in research.

TEDMED is the TED conference for all-things health and medicine, and for years I have admired the conference from afar. Some of my all-time favorite TED talks have come out of TEDMED.

A few weeks ago, on a whim, I applied for a scholarship to attend the next TEDMED conference held in Palm Springs, CA, on November 30-December 2, 2016.

My chances were slim. The list of previous scholarship recipients were all highly-accomplished professionals working for prestigious organizations. I could not identify a single person who identified primarily as a highly-accomplished patient.

I was not expecting a response, but a few days ago TEDMED offered me a partial scholarship to attend the conference! I am excited and flattered, but this means I still need to pay $2,495 for the conference fee, plus additional costs for airfare and lodging, for an estimated total of $3,656.

I have through Monday, October 17, to pay my registration fee in order to accept the scholarship.

With your help, I could attend this conference and add my expertise as a patient to the global TEDMED conversation. If you believe the patient voice is important to the global conversation in health care, please consider making a contribution to my GoFundMe campaign to help me get there.

Thank you for your consideration–and please spread the word!