HEALTH ACTIVIST . PUBLIC SPEAKER . COMEDIAN ENTHUSIAST . LOVER OF FASHION . PSORIASIS SLAYER
For two decades, Alisha M. Bridges lived in shame with psoriasis, a severe auto-immune disease. Now, she strives to inspire others by unapologetically living her best life in spite of her chronic illness.
At seven years old she was diagnosed with the itch, flaky, inflamed condition, during a time when public awareness about psoriasis was minimal. Alisha encountered a barrage of stigma and misconceptions about her skin and struggled—as so many do—with low self-esteem throughout her youth and adolescence.
In 2011 she stumbled into psoriasis advocacy on accident when she wrote a blog entitled, “My Suicide Letter” on an online psoriasis support group named www.talkpsoriasis.org. A message not about physical death, but the end of the scared little girl inside of her who was controlled by stigma, shame, and lacked self-confidence, due to the stigma that accompanies a visible chronic illness.
“Well today, I end it all. All the doubt, all the hiding when people ask questions, trying to deny who I am. Today it all ends, and it ends by me killing the part of myself that feels so ashamed. I kill the part of me that hides… I kill the part of me that cries out… I kill the part of me that’s afraid of what people will think. Today, I kill the part of me that doesn’t want to explain my condition to people. Today, I commit murder to that part of myself, and I kill all the hurt and fears! And it may be a slow death, but eventually it will be gone!”
Since then this blog has been viewed over 50,000 times. “I never thought in a million years I would be speaking out about my disease. I lived with it in shame for so long and couldn’t fathom sharing it with people. However, I found a freedom in sharing with the world the things that hurt me the most.” share’s Alisha.
Through this “death” a new woman was born… Now, an award-winning writer, public speaker, media consultant, health activist, comedian enthusiast, and fashionista. Alisha travels the world educating people on living a fulfilled life despite chronic illness. She advocates on behalf of patients to bridge the gap between the medical community and patients living with chronic disease. On social media or at conferences you may find her sharing the most intimate details of her life, in hopes it inspires others to live unapologetically.
Alisha has dedicated her entire life to health advocacy. Her most notable work comes from volunteering with The National Psoriasis Foundation. She had the privilege of speaking with Members of Congress to advocate health legislation for psoriasis research. Feeling empowered to educate people on psoriasis, she continues to strive and press for a cure as well as teaching others about the disease.
2015 Recipient of The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) Outstanding Volunteer Award
2013 Recipient of the NPF Innovator Award