After over a decade of suffering from debilitating unknown illnesses, in 2021, Charlie (they/them) was officially diagnosed with a progressive, lifelong genetic disease known as hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) that has caused them many complications and co-morbidities such as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), small fiber neuropathy, chronic fatigue, Barrett’s esophagus, chronic pain and injuries, and Hashimoto’s disease. Because of this, Charlie was forced to drop out of college, discontinue employment, and apply for social security now knowing the progressive, permanent, and declining nature of their disease. Charlie is currently unemployed while waiting for a life saving decision to be made by Social Security for financial support they desperately need.
Charlie graduated high school with honors, and prior to their health deteriorating, they were a literature major and queer studies minor at Northern Arizona University with a full ride scholarship that ended due to their health declining. Charlie is most passionate about creative writing, singing, and cinematography. Charlie is a certified peer support specialist who utilized their passion for helping the behavioral health community and spreading mental health awareness by using their own life experiences and disabilities to connect and support others. With being unable to work, Charlie wants to utilize their experience working in behavioral health and passion for writing to write a novel about their life experience as a young adult living with a disability.