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Community Voices

You are not alone. You are surrounded by an amazing, supportive, community of people who “get it.” They know what it is like to live with vasculitis—the treatment side effects, the anxiety of the unknowns, and the indescribable fatigue—but also, the joy in small victories, the increased resilience, and the appreciation for each new day.

Community Heroes

Ordinary people can become extraordinary in their journey through life — and this has never been truer than for people living with vasculitis. Look around and you’ll see that there are everyday heroes living among us. During Vasculitis Awareness Month the VF will be highlighting a few of the many everyday heroes from our vasculitis community.

Nominate your Vasculitis Patient or Care Partner Hero

Nominations for 2024 Vasculitis Foundation Community Heroes are now closed.

Profiles of the 2024 Community Heroes will be shared in May as part of Vasculitis Awareness Month.

Nominations for 2025 Community Heroes will open in January 2025.

Meet Our 2024 Community Heroes

We asked for patient & care partner hero nominations from the vasculitis community and we were overwhelmed with the number of people whose names were submitted. Judges from outside the vasculitis community chose 11 of the nominees’ to share their personal stories as 2024 Community Heroes. By sharing their stories, they help to increase awareness of vasculitis to those outside of the vasculitis community while providing hope and inspiration to all.

Annaruth Diller

Takayasu Arteritis (TAK), 2021

“Right now, it’s like this.”  – Ajahn Sumedho

Brandi Wiseman

Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA), 2019

“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Geraldine & Joe Niziolek

Care Partners

“I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see God open up new doors.” – Joel Osteen

Jasmine McMillan

Takayasu Arteritis (TAK), 2016

“A disease of inflammation created this mind and heart of determination to find a cure for all Generations.” -Jasmine McMillan

Lexey LaBonte

Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA), 2021

“No patient is ever too old for a sticker” – Lexey LaBonte

Nina Adams

Polyarteritis Nodosa (PAN), 2015

“The two things that helped me move forward after my diagnosis are travel and no longer feeling alone. Figure out what motivates YOU and join one of the VF support groups to help you get ideas about how to get there.” – Nina Adams

Noelle Creamer

Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA), 2018

“With every challenge, I grow stronger, more resilient, and more committed to my path of complete wellness.” – Noelle Creamer

Rachel Conder

Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA), 2019

“That is what it is. We can’t change it. We just have to decide how we’ll respond. We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
-Randy Pausch

Trena Anderson

Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA), 2015

“We can be so kind when it comes to encouraging others, yet at times we can be the hardest on ourselves. Especially on your tough days, give yourself grace. Remember to be kind to yourself.” – Trena Anderson

Maya Potter

Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (EGPA), 2022

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
-Mark Twain

Daniel Brusacoram

Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA), 2016

“Stay strong, there’s always hope. Don’t give up.” – Daniel Brusacoram

2024 Honorable Mentions

Aleigha Back
Central nervous system vasculitis (CNSV) – 2021

Ingrid Bencuya
Central nervous system vasculitis (CNSV) – 2023

Harleigh Bongle
ANCA vasculitis – 2023

Cory Brown
Undiagnosed – 1999/2000

Adriana Capellino
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) – 2018

Randal Dawson
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) – 2001

Victoria DeFrancesco
Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) – 2022

Caroline Dodge
Care Partner

Erik Dodge
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) – 2020

Carlos Enrique Dominguez
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) – 2023

Kayla Esan
Urticarial vasculitis – 2020

Linda Evans
Care Partner

Sylma Fernandez
Microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) and Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) – 2021

Humna Jannat
Cutaneous small-vessel vasculitis (CSVV) – 2019

Chloe Jones
IgA vasculitis – 2022

Christine MacFadyen
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) – 2009

Alessia Mancarellas
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) – 2023

Kassidy Martinez
P ANCA Vasculitis – 2020

Brittney Money-García
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) – 2014

Mikkel Petersen
Care Partner

Sherry Sykes
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) – 2023

Heather Tam
Takayasu arteritis (TAK) – 1997

Emma Thompson
Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) – 2021

Jason Waud
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) – 2020

Muhammad Umar
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) – 2021

2023 Community Heroes

2022 Community Heroes

2021 Community Heroes

Thank You to Our Community Heroes Sponsors