Imagine your body has betrayed you: double vision, numbness, and brain fog robbing you of your career and your ability to perform the most basic functions. Now imagine telling doctor after doctor something’s wrong with you, but none of them believe you. And when you finally find one who does and gives you a name for what you’re experiencing, there’s little you can do about it.

That was the reality Brenda Snow faced when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a generation ago. But even after learning there was no cure or specific treatment for MS, Brenda refused to give up on herself or her family. And after realizing that no one in the healthcare or pharmaceutical space was holding meaningful conversations with patients, she imagined something completely new and different. What if there were a way to connect the pharmaceutical industry with patients and to bring patient voices and perspectives into the conversation?

This was nothing short of a revolution in the relationship between pharma and their customers, and it all started with Brenda and her story. She was both the promoter and proof of concept. After a few years of sharing her story and consulting directly with industry, Brenda built up relationships with partners like Corbin Wood and gained the experience needed to turn her idea into a reality. And in 2001, Snow Companies—then called Snow & Associates—became the first patient engagement company in health.

With its world headquarters in Brenda’s attic and a staff of three multitaskers, Snow initially worked with a single client to identify MS patients and write their stories for a live audience. But the philosophy of engaging with patients in a meaningful way and building connections between brands and their customers formed a solid foundation, which we’re still building on 20 years later. While the company that bears her name has grown dramatically, Brenda is as passionate about its mission today as she was in 2001. And she is just as humbled, excited, and appreciative today as she was then, when her imagination lit a torch that started a patient revolution that would change the face of pharma forever.