27 Oct 50 TOP PATIENT INFLUENCERS
50 Top Patient Influencers and Their Impact
Wondering who the top patient influencers are? We have collated the most highly respected Instagram influencers around the world who are at the forefront of promoting their medical condition online.
In recent years we have seen a rise in patient communities due to online influencers opening up and sharing their journey of living with a chronic illness on the internet. According to Forbes, advertising through influencers allows brands to promote through someone that a niche community watches, engages and trusts on a daily basis.
Patient influencers are a niche group in which fellow patients trust and engage with, largely because they portray their authentic journey living with a medical condition and can help their followers feel less isolated, providing an invaluable lifeline of information and personal experience.
This gap in marketing can be valuable to healthcare companies and influencers alike. Business Insider states that the influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022, up from as much as $8 billion in 2019. Making these particular influencers incredibly desirable to healthcare companies who can tap into these patient communities, which ultimately adds value for their brand perception, exposure and sales.
Read on to discover all the 50 top patient influencers that you should be following in 2020.
50 TOP PATIENT INFLUENCERS LIST
1. TIA MOWRY @TIAMOWRY (8.1M)
Tia, best known for her role as a loveable twin on the ’90s TV show ‘Sister, Sister’ was diagnosed with Endometriosis a decade ago. Since her diagnosis, Tia has spoken publicly to her followers, but particularly to black women about her journey, her struggles with infertility and the ups and downs of living with the condition in the hopes of raising awareness.
2. MOLLY BURKE @MOLLYBURKEOFFICIAL (848K)
Molly is a YouTuber, motivational speaker and writer, who lost her eyesight when she was younger due to condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, but that doesn’t take anything away from her love of fashion, makeup and travelling. Molly shares the misconceptions of what it means to be a blind person, and how she manages her daily life with the help of her guide dog Gallop. Molly is an inspiration to her 2.3 million subscribers, showing how she doesn’t let her disability stop her from pursuing her passions.
3. LOUISE ROE @LOUISEROE (672K)
Louise is an American based TV host, writer, social media influencer and YouTuber who shares with her 50,000 YouTube subscribers’ fashion, beauty and lifestyle tips and trends. Louise is an Instagram fashion influencer who in recent years has begun to openly discuss her Psoriasis condition, which causes red and crusty patches on her skin. She is now heavily involved in raising awareness to positively promote the condition.
4. HANK GREEN @HANKGREEN (408K)
Hank is one the original YouTube stars, most known for his shared YouTube channel with brother, John Green. As well as co-creating the largest conference about online videos, ‘VidCon’. In 2012, Hank shared a video online called ‘Living with a Chronic Disease’, reaching 579,848 views, Hank opens up about having a mild condition of Ulcerative Colitis, a chronic autoimmune illness which inflames the digestive system. Hank now shares his story online on how he successfully schedules his life around his condition.
5. NIKKI LILLY @NIKKILILLY_ (318K)
Nikki has become a social media sensation since being diagnosed with Craniofacial Arteriovenous Malformation at the age of six. This chronic illness is when large veins appear in the face that causes swelling, which has resulted in 70 major operations of over a 7-year span. Nikki now at the age of 16, shares her inspirational journey on YouTube with her 1.19 million followers and 3.3 million followers on Tik Tok, she uses these platforms to creates awareness on her condition.
6. SHANE BURCAW @SHANEBURCAW (300K)
Shane is one half of the YouTube channel ‘Squirmy and Grubs’, with 735,000 subscribers him and his fiancée share their life through vlogs. Shane has a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which means that his muscles are incredibly weak, while Hannah Aylward is his caregiver and fiancée. The couple share education videos on SMA and what it’s like being in an interabled relationship. In 2019, Shane released a book called ‘Strangers Assume My Girlfriend is my Nurse’ opening about his life with a disability.
7. MARTINA STAWSKI @EATYOURKIMCHI (294K)
Martina and her husband Simon share a popular YouTube account with 1.39 million followers where they share their journey of living in Tokyo and South Korea. Martina has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which is a rare group of inherited conditions that affect connective tissue and causes chronic pain. Martina publicly shares her tough daily routine through her vlogs and they both bring awareness to EDS and the struggles that come with the condition.
8. HANNAH WITTON @HANNAHWITTON (206K)
Hannah is commonly known for her candid opinions on sex and relationships, sharing this with her 635,000 subscribers on YouTube. However, in 2018 she had surgery to fit a stoma bag after a flare-up of Ulcerative Colitis, a chronic autoimmune illness which inflames the digestive system. She now uses her own experiences and stories to educate and spread awareness on how to live with a stoma bag and how her life has adjusted living with a disability.
9. BEN MUDGE @BENMUDGE_ (113K)
Ben is a British fitness influencer and online coach. He was born with Cystic Fibrosis, a degenerative and genetic condition that affected his lungs and pancreas. Having previously been above 100% lung capacity, at the age of 18 Ben developed a chest infection that reduced his lung capacity to 66%, fighting the odds he learned to change his lifestyle. He didn’t let his condition and overtime his fitness career helped improve his lung capacity and which returned to 95%. Ben now advocates how health and fitness has transformed his health and life.
10. ANNIKA VICTORIA @LITTLEPINENEEDLE (90.3K)
Annika started her online journey in 2011 when she created her fashion blog ‘Pin Needle Collective’, which is where she discovered the DIY online community. After being diagnosed with a life-threatening and incurable illness, Takayasu’s Arteritis, her blog and sewing machine became her place of escape. Annika uses her platform to share her love for sewing and fashion, as well as being an outspoken member of the disability community, creating a safe community for fellow patients through the hashtag #BabeWithAMobilityAid.
11. MARY FREY @FREYLIVING (79.2K)
Mary is a daily vlogger with 277,000 subscribers on YouTube, where she shows a glimpse of her life with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) through the account ‘The Frey Life’. Mary was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was seven years old, as well her sister also being diagnosed with CF. Mary with her husband Peter shares the ups and downs of life with CF on her channel, providing her viewers with a relatable account of her journey tackling the struggles of her condition.
12. CALEIGH HABER @FIGHT2BREATHE (78.9K)
Caleigh is commonly known as ‘Fight2Breathe’ where is uses her Instagram to advocate within the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) community, as well as being a two-time lung transplant survivor. Cystic Fibrosis is a degenerative and genetic condition that affected his lungs and pancreas, which causes respiratory issues. Caleigh is an activist for others with breathing issues and fellow CF patients by sharing her recovery story aiming to raise awareness of CF.
13. CAROLYN RIVKEES @CHRONICALLY_CHEERFUL (78.4K)
Carolyn is commonly known as ‘Chronically Cheerful, within the patient community where she shares her story on being diagnosed with chronic migraines and anxiety. Carolyn shares daily positive messages to keep her followers inspired and advocates for holistic health techniques for pain management and mindfulness. She continues to post daily affirmations to create a positive community.
14. AMY LEE FISHER @CHRONICALLY.AMS (67.3K)
Amy is diagnosed Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a rare connective tissue disorder, Postural tachycardia syndrome, Gastroparesis, Intestinal dysmotility, Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Heart Murmur, SVT to name a few. Amy openly shares her story with her YouTube following of 296,000 subscribers, to spread awareness of her medical journey and has created a platform for the patient community to share their journey.
15. GEM HUBBARD @WHEELSNOHEELS_ (65.4K)
Gem is also known as ‘Wheels no Heels’ online, she is a digital content creator with over 6.5 million views on YouTube. Gem is living life to the fullest in a wheelchair after suffering from a Spinal Cord Injury. She shares her Paraplegic lifestyle and provides tips and tricks on travelling with a disability, specifically in a wheelchair.
16. TAMARA MENA @tamaramenaofficial (65.1k)
Tamara is a host, model, motivational speaker and bilingual content creator, as well as being a wheelchair user and paraplegic due to a spinal cord injury at the age of 19. Tamara’s lifelong dream was to go to College, which she inspirationally graduated in Communications with numerous academic awards. She continues to use her degree by advocating for body positivity, using her platform to create an open conversation with her followers throughout her journey.
17. ZACH ANNER @ZACH.ANNER (55.5K)
Zach lives with Cerebral Palsy and has grown a following of 374,000 subscribers, his channel is all about living with Cerebral Palsy and what people with the condition can achieve. Zach shares educational videos as well and Q&As with his family on how the condition has affected the family, as well as comedy skits and music. He has also written a book called ‘If at Birth you don’t succeed’ where he shares how he remains a positive attitude whilst living with a disability.
18. LARA PARKER @LARAEPARKER (50.5K)
Lara is an American born, Buzzfeed editor who was diagnosed with Endometriosis and other related conditions. She is best known for writing about her experiences on both Buzzfeed and her personal blog, which she does as a way of coping and building awareness.
19. JULIAN GAVINO @THEDISABLEDHIPPIE (48.2K)
Julian is also known as ‘The Disabled Hippie’ online, he is a 25-year-old life coach, writer, model and advocate. His platform shares his story as a transgender man and his struggles with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a condition that affects the body connective tissues. Julian continues to advocate and inspire his followers on his incredible journey and how his life continues to be impacted by his chronic illness.
20. MELODY OLANDER @BUTYOUDONTLOOKSICKOFFICIAL (36.8K)
Melody is an American born, business owner and influencer who has a rare disease at the age of 17. Now at 23, she has been diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). She has dedicated her time to connecting with the chronically ill community with the help of her book ‘But you don’t look sick’ which aims to make people feel less alone and provide them with information that can help them on their journey.
21. ALYSSA HIGGINS @WHEEL.LIFE.IN.THE.WHEEL.WORLD (36K)
Alyssa is 30-year-old New Yorker who has suffered from a broken spine since birth because of a doctor’s use of forceps. Her condition means that she is now dependant on a wheelchair and a ventilator. In 2018 she created an Instagram page and began sharing her journey living with this chronic condition, which rapidly blew up. Now she continues to be a disability advocate and has created a community of people who positively help and learn from each other.
22. MANDY MEEHAN @MANDYHMEEHAN (26.1K)
Mandy was previously a youth pastor from America who is now studying to be a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Mandy is currently documenting her healing from a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia on her YouTube channel, where she shares her knowledge on nutrition with her 13,600 subscribers.
23. NATASHA LIPMAN @NATASHALIPMAN (25.6K)
Natasha is a blogger and journalist focussed on chronic illness, food and health. She is diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder. This condition has led to Natasha being diagnosed with three further conditions which has vastly affected her quality of life. Natasha’s uses her platform to raise awareness on her conditions as well as creating a community for her followers to share their stories.
24. ALI HEMSLEY @ALIHEMSLEY (25.2K)
Ali was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia & Hip Dysplasia at the age of 17 which led to her becoming housebound. At the age of 15, Ali launched her subscription website ‘The Chronic Wellness Club’, which is for people within the patient community to give a different lesson about managing the subscriber’s health and wellbeing. As well as Ali’s Instagram, this subscription provides an informative community for those dealing with health conditions.
25. HOLLY RIDGEON @ITSHOLLYYX (23.5K)
Holly is a British born 24-year-old multiple sclerosis fighter, who also has a passion for cooking. After sharing her diagnosis story with her Instagram following, she quickly went viral and hasn’t stopped since.
26. ANNIE SEGARRA @ANNIEELAINEY (23.4K)
Annie calls herself a ‘chronically ill, disabled, queer woman of color’ and is an ambassador for sharing her story on her invisible disability online, to her YouTube following of 23,300 subscribers. Annie suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which is a rare group of inherited conditions that affect connective tissue and causes chronic pain. She talks openly to her viewers about her condition of living with chronic pain and the battles she goes through living with an invisible illness.
27. ZOE MCKENZIE @ACTIVELYAUTOIMMUNE (22.5K)
Zoe is a 28-year-old Physiotherapist, Personal Trainer & Clinical Pilates coach, that is also diagnosed with Lupus, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Zoe uses her platform ‘Actively Autoimmune’ to promote her invisible illnesses as well as creating a company that combines her passion for fitness and her knowledge on chronic illness to help others in the patient community move their body in a way that suits them.
28. SHAUN @SHAUNVLOG (22K)
Shaun is a Scottish influencer and Youtuber who has Psoriasis, a skin condition. Shaun has a YouTube channel with 163,000 subscribers in which he shares his passion for travelling and his journey with Psoriasis. He highlights the varied treatments he is trying, the ups and downs while also spreading positivity to his online community.
29. NATALIE SAYRE @MINDFULMIGRAINE (17.1K)
Natalie is also known as ‘Mindful Migraine’ to her following, where she shares her journey with chronic migraine, Lyme disease and Interstitial Cystitis. She uses her platform to offer support and generate awareness of living with a chronic condition. In 2019, Natalie and her partner Will created the account ‘Clinical Co-pilot’ on Instagram to share how Will supports Natalie as a caregiver.
30. JAMEISHA PRESCOD @YOULOOKOKAYTOME (16.9K)
Jameisha is a filmmaker and video journalist based in London, who was diagnosed with Lupus in 2014. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects the whole body, which can cause joint pain and tiredness. Jameisha also lives with a condition called Femoroacetabular Impingement, which causes sharp and severe hip pain. Through the platform ‘You look okay to me’ Jameisha creates digital content through YouTube and Instagram that raises awareness on her chronic illnesses and uses her platform to uplift and support her following.
31. TRAVIS FLORES @TRAVISFLORES (16.3K)
Travis is a speaker, writer and producer with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), which is an inherited disorder that attacks the lungs and digestive system. Having been diagnosed at just four years old, Travis underwent his first lung transplant in 2015 and a second just over two and a half years later. When his body rejected the second set of lungs too, he sat on a waiting list for 13 months before he was approved for a third transplant. Travis uses his platform to share his incredible ongoing journey with this long-term condition, to inspire others within the CF community.
32. CHRISTINA DOHERTY @WATERCOLOR_ME_IMPRESSED (16.1K)
Christina is a 21-year-old American based girl living with EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome). She shares on social media and her YouTube channels which has 19,500 subscribers, her love for painting and drawing while also documenting her life with this condition. She aims to not only raise awareness but create a community and safe place for other people who are also living with a chronic illness.
33. KIRSTEN CURTIS @KIRSTEN CURTIS (13.3K)
Kirsten is a 22-year-old advocate for invisible illnesses who has Crohn’s disease, a long-term condition where the gut becomes inflamed. She fearlessly uses her platforms to shares her journey with the disease, for example bravely displaying her Gastro-Jejunal feeding tube to her social media following.
34. KELLIE NIEBLING @THATENDOGODDESS (13K)
After waiting 10 years to be diagnosed with Endometriosis, Kelly is a 33-year-old living in Australia on a mission to help women find comfort in sharing their stories of this invisible illness. Kellie is commonly known as ‘That Endo Goddess’ on Instagram where she shares powerful body-positive images and rawly captures the unpredictability of living with a chronic disease.
35. TALEAH JAVON @LEAHJAVON (12.8K)
Taleah is a 25-year-old suffering with a chronic illness, including Lupus, Sickle Cell, Crohn’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, and Asthma. Taleah uses her platform to open up about her struggles whilst promoting body positivity, as well as providing her followers with information on her conditions.
36. REENA RUPARELIA @PSORIASIS_THOUGHTS (12.3K)
Reena was first diagnosed with Psoriasis when she was 13 years old, which is a skin condition that causes red patches of skin to appear commonly on the elbows, knees and scalp. After spending years hiding her skin condition, Reena now uses her platform to share and empower others to talk about their vulnerabilities, to break the stigma and build awareness of the skin condition within her community.
37. ALLIE CASHEL @SUFFERINGTHESILENCE (12K)
Allie is known online as ‘Suffering the Silence’ as she talks about her diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease when she was seven years old. During her senior year at Bard College, Allie conducted a series of interviews with chronic Lyme patients in New York and around the world. This led to Allie writing the memoir ‘Suffering the Silence: Chronic Lyme Disease in an Age of Denial’. She has helped raise awareness of suffering within the Lyme community and continues to do this for her company ‘Suffering the Silence’.
38. EMILIA VICTORIA @LIVINGWITHENDOMETRIOSIS__ (10.4K)
Emilia is commonly known as ‘Living with Endometriosis’ online, she was diagnosed with Endometriosis as the age of 24. This silent illness can cause chronic pain, fatigue and fertility issues, in which Emilia uses her platform to provide advice, support, awareness and empowerment to other women who suffer from this condition. She has created a safe space for women to gain information on this long-term condition, that is commonly known to be difficult to diagnose.
39. JESS PAULSEN @HENRYSHANDLER (10.3K)
Jess, commonly known as ‘Henry’s handler’ online as she shares her journey with many chronic illnesses to her followers. Jess and her service dog Henry use their platform to let the patient community come along with them on their travels, and openly shares her struggles of living with several conditions. Jess is diagnosed with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS), Hypermobile type Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (HEDS), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) to name a few. Her platform promotes positivity and relatable stories for her followers.
40. JULIE CRONER @ITSJUSTABADDAYNOTLIFE (10.1K)
Julie is a holistic health coach and yoga instructor, but she doesn’t let this stop her as she suffers from several chronic diseases. Julie has Avascular Necrosis (AVN) of the Knee, Psoriatic Arthritis and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD) to name a few. Her Instagram ‘It’s Just a Bad Day Not Life’ has become a safe community for her patient followers, which has led to Julie creating ‘WEGO Health’ which is a platform for the patient community to share their story and inform others.
41. PAULA CAROZZO @PAUUZZO (9.8K)
Paula is a Venezuelan born, Miami raised disabled lifestyle blogger and influencer. At the age of 5, she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy after an anoxic episode from surgery and went from being physically impaired in a wheelchair to regaining her muscle strength and learning how to walk again. Paula’s passion for fashion and beauty inspired her to create a movement of ‘fashionable canes’ which she shares on her social media and inspires people within her community.
42. ARDRA SHEPHARD @MS_TRIPPINGONAIR (9.4K)
Ardra, known to her followers as ‘Tripping on Air’, is a Canadian writer and blogger with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a lifelong condition that affects the brain and nerves. She is a leader in the MS community with her international reach and reputation, she has been named the number one chronic illness account to follow on Instagram in 2019. Ardra is on a mission to change minds about what it is like to live with a serious illness.
43. SHERYL CHAN @ACHRONICVOICE (7.6K)
Sheryl is also known as ‘A Chronic Voice’ within the patient community is diagnosed with Antiphospholipid Syndrome and Lupus. Sheryl shares her story on her platform where she posts quotes of positivity to her followers and different perspectives of others who suffer from chronic illness. Sheryl has also founded ‘CISP Friends’ which is a chronic illness social podcast, which is a collaboration with other chronic illness sufferers sharing their stories.
44. KATIE MAY @KATIEEMAY1 (6.7K)
Katie has been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, an Ileostomy & Fibromyalgia, as well as now being a chronic illness coach. Katie uses her platform to promote positivity within the patient community and shares what life is like living with a stoma bag. She created ‘The Chronically Living Collective’ which is a monthly newsletter to help others that suffer from a chronic illness. Each month the subscriber receives recipes, interviews with fellow chronic patients and articles give information and advice. Katie has created a community to help those that feel isolated which helps inspire and support others.
45. ARIEL LAWRENCE @JUSTALITTLE_SUGA (5.9K)
Ariel who also goes by ‘Just a Little Suga’ on Instagram, lives with type 1 diabetes and fights hard for the representation of people of colour in the chronic illness community. Ariel shares her story on how her condition can be critically impacted by race, culture, family and education and uses her platform to educate others.
46. VICTORIA FALING @LEMONS ‘N LYME (5.7K)
Victoria, commonly known as ‘Lemon N Lyme’ online is an influencer, certified Personal Trainer and YouTuber. At the age of 21 Victoria was diagnosed with Lyme’s disease and has ever since concentrated on how she can heal from a chronic illness through the proper food and by living healthy and toxin-free. She reflects this on her Instagram and YouTube channel where she shares with her 3,200 followers her day in the life, healthy foods, tips and fitness-related content.
47. RACHEL WHITE @SLEEPYSANTOSHA (5.5K)
Rachel is a certified yoga instructor who specialises in yoga for chronic illness, inspired by her first-hand experience with chronic illness. Rachel created an online community in 2016 called ‘Sleepy Santosha’, which provides yoga classes for people who are living with chronic illness and other disabilities that may require support, with many classes being practised in bed. Rachel has created an informative community that helps people in the patient community use her techniques to live a better quality of life.
48. JENNI PETTICAN @CHRONICALLYJENNI (3.8K)
Jenni is a British born 22-year-old who is living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). All of which cause chronic pain, migraines as well as food intolerances. She vlogs her life to her 2,100 YouTube followers to give them an insight in living with a chronic illness in the hopes of raising awareness of her condition.
49. IZZY KORNBLAU @IZZYKORNBLAU (3.3K)
Izzy is a 23-year-old New York based influencer and YouTuber who has a genetic disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, along with POTS, Gastroparesis, Muscle Tension Dysphonia and TMJD. She uses her YouTube channel which has 19,500 subscribers to educate and discuss living with her conditions while providing tips on navigating schooling, healthcare and relationships while being chronically ill.
50. TATIANA APARICIO @FIRSTPRIORITEA (2.9K)
Tatiana suffers from various Autoimmune diseases, which includes Psoriasis and digestive problems. This caused Tatiana to turn to a mostly fruitarian diet for relief, she uses her Instagram account ‘First Priortea’ to share juice recipes as well as tips on what fruit and vegetables can help manage flare-ups.