By: Rachel Benbrook, IATG ContributorAugust 5, 2016
Kendall Brown is THAT girl.
Today, Kendall Brown is a confident staff member of the Hillary Clinton campaign in Ohio. But it wasn’t that many years ago that she was struggling to battle debilitating health problems that shaped her into the fighter that she is today.
When Kendall was in the 8th grade, she received a diagnosis of Crohn's Disease. This diagnosis came after years of battling unknown health problems that interfered with her school and her daily life. A doctor saved her life by making a last minute decision to send her to a specialist. It later became known that she might have only had another 48 hours to live, if this doctor had not made this decision.
Kendall learned to manage her health, and it wasn’t until college that she began to struggle again. “The ACA (affordable healthcare act) had not yet been passed, and as a result I had come off of my mom's insurance. Because of this, I was not going to the doctor as regularly as I should have been,” Brown said. As a result of not seeking care, Kendall occasionally had relapses in her health and difficulty managing her disease.
The next few years led to Kendall seeking treatments in different free clinics in Oklahoma and struggling to manage her health conditions. She saw first hand the type of people who were struggling to get proper health care and received treatment alongside them.
All of this inspired Kendall to help others, and she passionately went into politics to try and spread more awareness on these types of issues.
Currently, Kendall serves as the deputy digital director for the political campaign in Ohio. “I work in the field a lot gathering research,” Brown said. In addition to sharing her inspiring story, she said that her work has made her more appreciative of others and has given her a platform to connect.
“This [job] has taught me that every single person has an interesting personal story, and it’s my job to pull that story out of them.”
In addition to her fieldwork, Kendall has been able to mentor younger staffers, a role she accredits to helping her achieve her success in her chosen career of political campaigning. “I get to work with some great young staffers. I look back at where I was at 22 or 23, and I can’t imagine being able to move to a new state and do all that they are doing.”
Kendall Brown is THAT GIRL for her strength to use her personal experiences to help others. She did not allow her physical conditions to debilitate her; she used her struggles and stories to help others by making a platform to advance awareness on health care and health care reform issues. She uses her compassion to help relate to others and her vulnerability to help advance causes in this world.
Just like Kendall, we can be THAT girl! How can you use your story and personal experiences to help and inspire those around you? Take some time today to get vulnerable with those around you. You never know who needs to hear your story.
Rachel is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and the University of Leeds where she studied Political Communications. She is a passionate advocate of strong friendships, caffeine, social justice, current events, travels and adventures, as well as all things peanut butter. She enjoys watching Parks and Recreation, as well as teaching English to new language learners.