Made Visible

Made Visible

www.madevisiblepodcast.com
On Made Visible, we share real, raw stories from people who seem fine, but aren’t.


64. Molly O’Malley Pitman, Turning Tragedy into Empowerment and Hope for People with Autism
Dec 10 • 38 min
Molly O’Malley Pitman’s son was diagnosed with autism before he was two years old. For Molly and her husband, the diagnosis was devastating, but it also gave her something to fight for. On today’s episode, Molly and I talk about how losing many family…
63. Katie Dalebout and Serena Wolf, Approaching Anxiety with Vulnerability and Laughter
Dec 3 • 59 min
Katie Dalebout and Serena Wolf have embraced vulnerability when it comes to living with anxiety. They’re the hosts of Spiraling, dubbed an “optimistic” anxiety podcast, and they talk openly with me about what it means for them to live with anxiety, how…
62. Elana Safar, Giving Voice to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Advocating for Fragrance-Free Spaces
Nov 26 • 31 min
For Elana Safar, navigating the world isn’t always simple. That’s because she has multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), a condition where the body reacts to chemicals often found in perfumes, deodorants, cleaning solutions, and beyond. On today’s episode,…
61. Amy Lacey, Seeing Food as Medicine and Bringing Cauliflower Crust to Pizza Night
Nov 19 • 38 min
Amy Lacey created a cauliflower crust in her kitchen after deciding she would need to make nutrition changes to manage her lupus diagnosis. On today’s episode, Amy and I talk about the physical and emotional challenges that her health presented, and how…
60. Catherine Rogers and Ben Samuel, Using Narrative Medicine to Foster Self-Expression and Understanding
Nov 12 • 38 min
Developed at Columbia University in 2000, narrative medicine isn’t quite like any other discipline out there. On today’s episode, I talk with Catherine Rogers and Ben Samuel, who both teach writing in the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia. We…
59. Hannah Olson, Showing Employers (and Beyond) the Value of Hiring People with Chronic Illness and Disability
Nov 5 • 27 min
When employers come to Hannah Olson and ask her why they should hire people who have chronic illness, she has a lot to say. Hannah is the founder is Chronically Capable, a platform that connects people who are chronically ill or disabled with meaningful…
58. Beth Schrock, Creating Portraits of Invisible Illness while Living with Undiagnosed Pain
Oct 29 • 39 min
“Unremarkable.” That’s the word doctors have used to describe Beth Schrock’s test results, and it signals that her tests are coming back normal. For Beth, who has been living with nerve pain and mobility issues since 2017, this means she still doesn’t…
57. Menna Olvera, a UZIT Practitioner Who Helps People Become Aware of the Self
Oct 22 • 34 min
In 2007, Menna Olvera was introduced to Urban Zen Integrative Therapy, a healing modality founded by Donna Karan after her husband passed away. Now, as a UZIT practitioner, Menna supports patients and clients through five different healing modalities. On…
56. Jaime Walden, Using Humor and Candor to Shed Light on Her Life with Crohn’s Disease
Oct 15 • 39 min
As Jaime Walden explains, navigating Crohn’s disease is a little different than navigating other illnesses. Long story short: you might spend a lot of time being trapped in the bathroom. On today’s episode, we talk about Jaime’s long journey to a…
55. Corinne Gray, Bringing Awareness to Neurodiversity while Living with Depression
Oct 8 • 34 min
Corinne Gray was diagnosed with depression during university, but for most of her 20s, she didn’t deal with her diagnosis head on. On today’s episode, Corinne and I talk about her decision to start managing her symptoms, and what living with depression…
54. Erica Matluck, Supporting Patients’ Health and Self with Naturopathic Medicine and Education
Oct 1 • 39 min
For Erica Matluck, part of her job as a naturopathic doctor is to be a teacher. By providing education to her patients, she aims to make them feel empowered about their health. On today’s episode, Erica and I talk about what drove her to explore…
53. Ashley Weiss, Taking Life with POTS One Day at a Time
Aug 20 • 47 min
When Ashley Weiss was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, it changed everything in her life. On today’s episode, Ashley and I talk about the realities of living with POTS, the difficult diagnostic testing she went through,…
52. Adrienne Nolan-Smith, Getting to the Root of Her Health Challenges and Helping Others Do the Same
Aug 13 • 39 min
Adrienne Nolan-Smith isn’t interested in healthcare approaches that slap a band-aid on the problem. For her, it’s about getting to the root cause. On today’s episode, Adrienne and I talk about her diagnosis with Lyme disease at age 9, and how her mom’s…
51. Russell Markus, Channeling Empathy and an Entrepreneurial Spirit into a CBD Company
Aug 6 • 42 min
Growing up, Russell Markus didn’t understand his mom’s chronic pain, but severe knee pain as an adult made him realize the reality of what she had been dealing with for decades. On today’s episode, Russell and I talk about his shift in awareness about his…
50. Erika Stallings, Managing Her BRCA 2 Mutation on Her Own Terms with a Double Mastectomy
Jul 30 • 41 min
After undergoing a preventative double mastectomy in 2014, Erika Stallings told a therapist that she felt her life now had to have a lot of meaning. After all, she had just done this radical thing to save her own life. On today’s episode, Erika and I talk…
49. Martel Catalano, Embracing Teachable Moments while Living With a Degenerative Eye Disease
Jul 23 • 35 min
About five years ago, Martel Catalano realized she couldn’t ignore her chronic condition (retinitis pigmentosa) any longer. On today’s episode, Martel and I talk about why she decided to lean into her diagnosis and address her stress about her condition,…
48. Genevieve Gorder, Designing a Life with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Lyme Disease
Jul 16 • 54 min
Interior design star Genevieve Gorder wants to live in the light, not in her illness. What does that mean, exactly? For Genevieve, who has both Lyme disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it means refusing to stake her identity in her health challenges. On…
47. Rachel Trobman, Humanizing Chronic Pain While Living with Non-Specific Connective Tissue Disease
Jul 9 • 33 min
When Rachel Trobman was diagnosed with non-specific connective tissue disease, the rheumatologist who diagnosed her showed her that healthcare could go beyond personalized: it could be humanized. Today, that principle plays out on Ouchie, an app for pain…
46. Madelaine DeRose, Seeing the Big Picture While Managing Dyslexia
Jul 2 • 27 min
When Madelaine DeRose was very young, her mom realized that she saw things differently than other kids, and Madelaine was ultimately diagnosed with dyslexia. On today’s episode, Madelaine and I discuss how people with dyslexia experience the world, and…
45. Sarah Harris, Using Humor to Talk About Living with a Chronic Skin Condition
Jun 25 • 40 min
When talking about her experience with eczema, Sarah Harris is not just thoughtful; she’s also laugh-out-loud funny. For instance, she calls her experience with eczema herpeticum “the best clickbait ever,” but also acknowledges that it was shocking to be…
44. Evan Golub, Building a Startup to Help People with Invisible and Chronic Illnesses Not Feel Alone
Jun 18 • 33 min
In 2017, after four years of misdiagnoses by 30 practitioners, Evan Golub was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease. Since then, he’s dedicated his life to educating himself on Lyme while supporting others who are also managing the condition. On today’s…
43. Allie Kashkash, Making Life Better for Kids With Food Allergies
Jun 11 • 49 min
Living in Israel, Allie Kashkash faces unique challenges when it comes to managing her son’s allergies. Not only is the most popular snack in Israel made of peanuts, she also discovered a lack of allergy resources in Hebrew. On today’s episode, Allie and…
42. Christopher Hooton, Living with Depression and Channeling Pain into Creativity
Jun 4 • 36 min
Christopher Hooton was diagnosed with depression almost a decade ago, and he’s discovered that his symptoms are somewhat treatment-resistant. He’s had to find other ways to manage his mental health, and creativity plays a big role in that. On today’s…
41. Gunnar Esiason, Living with Cystic Fibrosis with a Healthy Dose of Humor
May 28 • 49 min
Gunnar Esiason believes cystic fibrosis drug development is in its golden age, and that’s good news for people like him. Gunnar was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at age two, and since then, he’s relied on an intensive treatment regimen to manage his…
40. Sophia Saad, Helping Children and Young Adults Express Themselves Through Art Therapy
Apr 23 • 39 min
When Sophia Saad was younger, learning wasn’t especially fun for her. Years later, as a teacher and art therapist, Sophia had the chance to provide students with learning opportunities that she didn’t have. Working with special education students, Sophia…
39. Amanda Goldberg, Managing type 1 Diabetes by Listening to Her Body
Apr 16 • 41 min
Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age nine didn’t stop Amanda Goldberg from pursuing a competitive tennis career. Due to sports injuries, however, Amanda ultimately left tennis and joined the family business, Goldberg’s Famous Bagels. On today’s…
38. Yali Szulanski, Navigating Recovery from Eating Disorders through Self-Compassion
Apr 9 • 54 min
Yali Szulanski has navigated eating disorders, anxiety, depression, self harm, and trauma. Around ten years ago, she realized that if she didn’t seek recovery, she would continue to lose relationships in her life. On today’s episode, Yali and I talk about…
37. Susannah Meadows, In Pursuit of Medical Success Stories to Help Her Son, And Others
Apr 2 • 38 min
When journalist Susannah Meadows learned that her three-year-old son, Shepherd, had juvenile idiopathic arthritis, she was told there was no cure. Shepherd started medication, but not only was it ineffective, it made him feel sick. On today’s episode,…
36. CC Webster Marrone, Redefining Success While in Remission from Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Mar 26 • 49 min
At age 29, CC Webster Marrone was an advertising executive specializing in pharmaceutical healthcare advertising. When she got her “cancer call” from the doctor who had performed her biopsy, she almost didn’t pick it up because she was in an important…
35. Emily Fletcher, Using Meditation to Move On to Her “New Now” After a Miscarriage
Mar 22 • 47 min
Emily Fletcher found out she was having a miscarriage on her way to teach a meditation retreat. Or so she thought. As it turned out, when she had an ultrasound, the baby had a heartbeat. But at the three-month mark, she was told—again—that she had…
34. Bob Martin, Finding His Purpose as an Author, Grandparent, and Advocate for Children
Mar 22 • 27 min
Author Bob Martin writes books for children that bring more understanding to the chronic diseases and disorders that kids face. Bob lost a granddaughter to a highly terminal brain tumor and has a grandson who manages ADHD, so he writes from the heart on…
35. Emily Fletcher, Using Meditation to Move On to Her “New Now” After a Miscarriage
Mar 19 • 46 min
Emily Fletcher found out she was having a miscarriage on her way to teach a meditation retreat. Or so she thought. As it turned out, when she had an ultrasound, the baby had a heartbeat. But at the three-month mark, she was told—again—that she had…
34. Bob Martin, Finding His Purpose as an Author, Grandparent, and Advocate for Children
Mar 12 • 27 min
Author Bob Martin writes books for children that bring more understanding to the chronic diseases and disorders that kids face. Bob lost a granddaughter to a highly terminal brain tumor and has a grandson who manages ADHD, so he writes from the heart on…
33. Ally Hilfiger, Changing the Lenses on Her Experience with Lyme Disease
Mar 5 • 40 min
Ally Hilfiger was bitten by a tick at age seven and battled severe physical and neurological symptoms throughout her childhood, but she wasn’t diagnosed with Lyme until after a hospitalization at age 18. On today’s episode, Ally and I talk about why she…
32. Melissa Marans, Rebuilding Her Body and Reorganizing Her Life with Dermatomyositis
Feb 26 • 45 min
For most of her life, Melissa Marans didn’t have an invisible illness. That all changed in 2015, when she began showing signs of rapidly worsening muscle weakness and fatigue. She went to see her doctor, and in a week, had a diagnosis: a rare autoimmune…
31. Carly Stein, Healing Her Health with Products from the Hive
Feb 19 • 51 min
Before discovering bee products, Carly Stein was the person who was always sick. That all changed when she discovered magical natural products like propolis, royal jelly, bee pollen, and honey. On today’s episode, Carly and I talk about what led her to…
30. Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Providing a Guide for Thoughtfully Supporting People Who Are Sick
Feb 12 • 47 min
About ten years ago, Letty Cottin Pogrebin (a founding editor of Ms. Magazine) was sitting in the waiting room at Memorial Sloan Kettering when she had the idea for a book. On today’s episode, Letty and I talk about her experience with breast cancer, and…
29. Genevieve Gorder, Designing a Life with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Lyme Disease
Feb 5 • 52 min
Interior design star Genevieve Gorder wants to live in the light, not in her illness. What does that mean, exactly? For Genevieve, who has both Lyme disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it means refusing to stake her identity in her health challenges. On…
28. Monique Gore-Massy, Finding Hope and Purpose After Her Lupus Diagnosis
Jan 29 • 41 min
Monique Gore-Massy is a lupus survivor living purposefully. At the beginning of her journey, her debilitating symptoms diminished her sense of hope, tested her faith, and challenged her identity. On today’s episode, Monique and I talk the incredible…
27. Norine Spero (my Mom), Caregiving by Letting Me Take the Lead
Jan 22 • 34 min
This week, I’m so thrilled to present a very special guest: my mom, Norine Spero, who has been a caregiver for me since I was born. My mom and I are very close, so I found it really incredible that there were parts of her story—and my story—that I had…
26. Nitika Chopra, Navigating Entrepreneurship, Psoriasis, and Self-Love with Her Heart as Her Guide
Jan 15 • 43 min
Nitika Chopra was diagnosed with psoriasis, a chronic skin condition, at age 10. At 19, she was also diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. On today’s episode, Nitika and I talk about the emotional and physical challenges of growing up with a chronic…
25. Gunnar Esiason, Living with Cystic Fibrosis with a Healthy Dose of Humor
Jan 8 • 49 min
Gunnar Esiason believes cystic fibrosis drug development is in its golden age, and that’s good news for people like him. Gunnar was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at age two, and since then, he’s relied on an intensive treatment regimen to manage his…
24. Dr. Alexandra Freeman, Providing Patient-Focused Care for Primary Immune Deficiencies
Dec 18, 2018 • 35 min
As a physician at the NIH, Dr. Alexandra Freeman treats patients with rare diseases who have exhausted the easy options. On today’s episode, Dr. Freeman and I talk about what makes the NIH so different from other medical organizations—and how that impacts…
23. Becca Skolnick: Honoring her Mother’s Advice about Parenting with a Chronic Illness
Dec 11, 2018 • 27 min
While sorting through her mother’s belongings, Becca Skolnick made an interesting discovery: a printout of an article her mother had written. The article mirrored her real life in so many ways; it was advice that her mother had put into practice over the…
22. Akilah Cadet, Advocating for Herself As She Searches for a Primary Diagnosis
Dec 4, 2018 • 34 min
Akilah has been diagnosed with pericarditis, coronary artery spasms, and orthostatic hypotension, but she’s still searching for a reason why she’s experiencing intense and chronic pain on the left side of her body. On today’s episode, we talk about how…
21. Tracy Shaw, A Mother on a Mission to Find Answers for a Daughter with CVID
Nov 27, 2018 • 45 min
In pursuit of answers for her daughter, Tracy Shaw went on a diagnostic odyssey. Thanks to Tracy’s research, using data from Madison’s many hospitalizations and visits with 21 doctors, Madison was diagnosed with common variable immune deficiency (CVID) at…
20. Sah D’Simone, Seeking (and Giving) Compassion while Managing Depression
Nov 20, 2018 • 37 min
In his mid-twenties, Sah D’Simone’s life as he knew it changed in an instant, and he entered the darkest episode of depression he’d ever had. Realizing that his mindset had to shift, Sah embarked on a journey of self-healing and compassion-seeking that…
19. Jan Wiese, Caregiving with Grace and Intention for a Daughter with Job’s Syndrome
Nov 13, 2018 • 52 min
When Lucy Wiese was three years old, she was diagnosed with a rare disease called Job’s Syndrome (or Hyper IgE Syndrome). For Jan Wiese, Lucy’s mom, that was the beginning of her journey as a full-time caregiver. On today’s episode, Jan and I talk about…
18. Emily Sause, Embracing Curiosity and Awareness while Living with Narcolepsy
Nov 6, 2018 • 48 min
When Emily Sause first started experiencing symptoms of narcolepsy in college, she wasn’t even sure what was happening. It wasn’t until she asked students and professors, who confirmed that she had been sleeping in class, that she realized something…
17. Joe Dinardo, Navigating Brain Surgery and Caregiving Through His Meditation Practice
Oct 30, 2018 • 57 min
When Joe DiNardo discovered he’d been living with a brain tumor for almost two decades, he relied on his meditation practice to help him face his own mortality. Several years later, when his wife Marcia was diagnosed for Stage IV pancreatic cancer, he…
16. Jen Pastiloff, Listening Fiercely with Profound Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
Oct 23, 2018 • 46 min
Jen Pastiloff has built her identity and career around connecting with people. She also has profound hearing loss and tinnitus and is deaf without her hearing aids. As a result, she’s had to cultivate other ways of understanding and hearing. On today’s…
15. Lauren Chiarello, Cultivating Community as a Two-Time Cancer Survivor
Oct 16, 2018 • 39 min
When Lauren Chiarello was 23 years old, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Now over nine years in remission, Lauren is deeply involved in cancer advocacy at Memorial Sloan Kettering. From speaking at nurse orientations to being a resource for…
14. Jodie Cariss, Challenging Therapy’s Status Quo with Self Space
Oct 9, 2018 • 32 min
When you picture a therapy office, you might imagine something tucked away in an office building. Self Space, founded by Jodie Cariss, is just the opposite. With its storefront location, the modern therapy practice is like nothing you’ve encountered…
13. Anthony Piccione, Using Theater to Break Down Stigma around Autism and Anxiety
Oct 2, 2018 • 37 min
When Anthony Piccione was just a year-and-a-half old, he was diagnosed with autism. In his teenage years, he was also diagnosed with anxiety and mood disorder not otherwise specified. Now, Anthony is a playwright and actor, and uses art to bring awareness…
12. Amy Grantham, Chronicling Her Experience with Cancer through Art
Sep 25, 2018 • 52 min
For artist Amy Grantham, being diagnosed with breast cancer at 31 was life-changing in every sense of the word. It wasn’t just that she underwent two lumpectomy surgeries and had to make hard decisions about fertility. Having cancer also rearranged her…
11. Aaron Curtis, Finding Answers with Cutaneous Polyarteritis Nodosa
Sep 18, 2018 • 25 min
Aaron Curtis was diagnosed with cutaneous polyarteritis nodosa (CPAN) in 2015. Like many people with rare diseases, his path to a diagnosis wasn’t routine. Once he finally had a diagnosis, he was left with the task of managing his painful flare-ups while…
10. Mallory Gothelf, Giving Her Depression and Anxiety a Purpose
Sep 11, 2018 • 41 min
Mallory Gothelf was diagnosed with general anxiety and major depressive disorder when she was 15. At that age, Mallory didn’t realize that recovery would be a long road or that it would ignite her passion for giving back and being a voice for others. On…
9. Margie Strauss, Finding Her Team with Multiple Sclerosis
Sep 4, 2018 • 33 min
Margie Strauss felt a strange, electric pain in her body while on vacation with her family in the summer of 2001. After being admitted to the hospital, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) that very same day. Quickly, the nuisance that had…
8. Matt Glazer, Finding His Rhythm with Bipolar Disorder
Aug 28, 2018 • 35 min
When Matt Glazer calls his bipolar disorder his superpower, it’s not just a catchphrase. He genuinely means it. From using his experience to deepen his communication skills, produce creative work, or reframe the idea of “failure,” Matt is serious about…
7. Tiffany Dyba, Navigating Breast Cancer In Her 30s
Aug 21, 2018 • 46 min
Tiffany Dyba first felt a lump in her left breast while on vacation with her husband in Iceland. When she returned home, she went for a mammogram and ultimately discovered that she had Stage 1 breast cancer. On this episode, Tiffany and I talk about the…
6. *Bonus Episode* Behind Closed Doors with Danielle Diamond
Aug 16, 2018 • 8 min
In this bonus episode, Danielle Diamond shares a powerful essay, Behind Closed Doors, about an early memory of her mom, who had bipolar disorder and depression. This essay is poignant, honest, and punctuated with humor. It provides a window into the…
5. Danielle Diamond, Speaking Up about Her Mom’s Mental Illness
Aug 14, 2018 • 44 min
For Danielle Diamond’s entire childhood, her mom struggled with bipolar disorder and depression. As she grew older, and especially after her mom died by suicide when Danielle was just 21, she grew to better understand the reality of her mom’s experience.…
4. Phoebe Lapine, Finding Healthy Hedonism with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Aug 7, 2018 • 35 min
When Phoebe Lapine was first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, she didn’t want to hear it. As time went by, she eventually came to terms with her diagnosis and discovered she could use her skills as a chef and recipe developer to heal her body.…
3. Carly Alterman, Caregiving for Lyme Disease
Jul 31, 2018 • 38 min
Growing up, Carly Alterman loved that she was able to spend a lot of time with her dad, Harvey, who had retired from his dentistry practice due to chronic Lyme disease. Starting in third grade, Carly, along with her mother and brother, acted as a primary…
2. Christina Blacken, Living with Pre-Diabetes
Jul 24, 2018 • 45 min
For Christina Blacken, an early pre-diabetes diagnosis was the wake-up call she needed to take control of her health and her life. Not taking “no” for an answer, she did whatever it took to get the answers she needed for her health, eventually venturing…
1. Introduction with Harper Spero
Jul 17, 2018 • 13 min
I’m so excited to launch the first episode of Made Visible, an idea which has been a long time in the making. I didn’t always know that I wanted to launch a podcast, but I did know that I needed to do something to make people with invisible illnesses feel…