By Harper Spero
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Made Visible is a podcast that gives a voice to people with invisible illnesses. This podcast aims to change the conversation around invisible illnesses, helping those who experience them —whether as patients, caregivers, or friends or family members — feel more seen and heard.
||Explicit35. Emily Fletcher, Using Meditation to Move On to Her “New Now” After a Miscarriage||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 mi.||3/22/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean34. Bob Martin, Finding His Purpose as an Author, Grandparent, and Advocate for Children||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 o.||3/22/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit33. Ally Hilfiger, Changing the Lenses on Her Experience with Lyme Disease||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||3/4/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit32. Melissa Marans, Rebuilding Her Body and Reorganizing Her Life with Dermatomyositis||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 autoimmu||2/25/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean31. Carly Stein, Healing Her Health with Products from the Hive||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 t||2/18/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit30. Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Providing a Guide for Thoughtfully Supporting People Who Are Sick||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,||2/11/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit29. Genevieve Gorder, Designing a Life with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Lyme Disease||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.||2/4/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit28. Monique Gore-Massy, Finding Hope and Purpose After Her Lupus Diagnosis||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 s||1/28/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit27. Norine Spero (my Mom), Caregiving by Letting Me Take the Lead||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 h||1/21/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit26. Nitika Chopra, Navigating Entrepreneurship, Psoriasis, and Self-Love with Her Heart as Her Guide||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 ill||1/14/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit25. Gunnar Esiason, Living with Cystic Fibrosis with a Healthy Dose of Humor||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 mana||1/7/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean24. Dr. Alexandra Freeman, Providing Patient-Focused Care for Primary Immune Deficiencies||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 im||12/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean23. Becca Skolnick: Honoring her Mother's Advice about Parenting with a Chronic Illness||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||12/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit22. Akilah Cadet, Advocating for Herself As She Searches for a Primary Diagnosis||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 abou||12/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit21. Tracy Shaw, A Mother on a Mission to Find Answers for a Daughter with CVID||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 (CV||11/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit20. Sah D’Simone, Seeking (and Giving) Compassion while Managing Depression||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||11/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean19. Jan Wiese, Caregiving with Grace and Intention for a Daughter with Job’s Syndrome||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||11/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit18. Emily Sause, Embracing Curiosity and Awareness while Living with Narcolepsy||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||11/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean17. Joe Dinardo, Navigating Brain Surgery and Caregiving Through His Meditation Practice||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||10/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit16. Jen Pastiloff, Listening Fiercely with Profound Hearing Loss and Tinnitus||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||10/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit15. Lauren Chiarello, Cultivating Community as a Two-Time Cancer Survivor||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||10/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean14. Jodie Cariss, Challenging Therapy’s Status Quo with Self Space||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 b||10/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit13. Anthony Piccione, Using Theater to Break Down Stigma around Autism and Anxiety||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 awaren.||10/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit12. Amy Grantham, Chronicling Her Experience with Cancer through Art||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 he||9/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean11. Aaron Curtis, Finding Answers with Cutaneous Polyarteritis Nodosa||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 wh||9/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit10. Mallory Gothelf, Giving Her Depression and Anxiety a Purpose||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.||9/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit9. Margie Strauss, Finding Her Team with Multiple Sclerosis||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 di.||9/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit8. Matt Glazer, Finding His Rhythm with Bipolar Disorder||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||8/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit7. Tiffany Dyba, Navigating Breast Cancer In Her 30s||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 th.||8/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean6. *Bonus Episode* Behind Closed Doors with Danielle Diamond||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 ch.||8/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit5. Danielle Diamond, Speaking Up about Her Mom’s Mental Illness||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 experi||8/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit4. Phoebe Lapine, Finding Healthy Hedonism with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis||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||8/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean3. Carly Alterman, Caregiving for Lyme Disease||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 prima.||7/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit2. Christina Blacken, Living with Pre-Diabetes||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 ventu||7/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean1. Introduction with Harper Spero||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 illnesse||7/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
Give this a listen!
This podcast can resonate with anyone who is dealing with or has dealt with health issues that don't manifest on the outside, but rather within. It is a confusing thing for many to explain what is going on inside their bodies and often do not get a diagnosis. In the west we were brought up without proper knowledge of how our bodies work and many doctors make us even more sick. Time, patience, meditation, healthful foods, and community make huge differences in our lifestyles and our sustainable happiness. Thank you for sharing this work!
Thankful for these podcasts
Listening to these podcasts totally resonates with me. I am also battling a rare/orphan disease know as Adrenal Cancer. As many people on this podcast, I was misdiagnosed for so long and had to suffer in silence. Thank you for showing me I am not alone and helping spread the word on the importance of advocating for yourself.
About so much more than illness
My favortie part of this podcast is the common thread found in each episode: encouragement that we are not alone in facing hard things life throws our way. That there's a lot we don't have control over, but there's a lot of power in taking control of what we choose to do with the hand we're dealt. What Harper is doing with this podcast -- asking deep questions and giving a real voice to people who have lived through experiences that have made them stronger, wiser, better people for it, is incredibly inspiring for anyone, whether or not their lives have been affected by an invisible illness. Thank you for creating this podcast, Harper!