As Snow moved into its second decade, it had already seen massive growth—even in the face of a global recession that caused many small businesses to close their doors. Snow survived in part by expanding its portfolio of conditions and clients; but more than that, it survived because the Patient Ambassador® model Brenda had established 10 years earlier was as relevant and impactful as ever.
Regina started her career as an Army nurse in surgical and pediatrics before moving to neo-natal intensive care. At home, she was raising a four-year-old girl, and her days were busy but filled with bliss. Before her diagnosis, she even found time to run 10 miles on a typical day. Her life changed drastically when she experienced a stroke during pregnancy and was subsequently diagnosed with lupus.
Though devastated, Regina began her long journey toward self-care and self-acceptance, and part of that journey included the Patient Ambassador program. Becoming an Ambassador helped Regina freely express that although she had a chronic illness, it was only one aspect of a full, beautiful life. Though she certainly had moments when she felt the disease had taken control of her life, Regina took control back by seeking out as much information as she could and harnessing her own joy in helping others. Working with Snow enabled her to spread awareness about lupus and encourage others to work towards better treatments and a cure. Being an Ambassador also introduced her to people who struggled with lupus but were often unsure how to advocate for themselves or manage their illness. She played a key part in changing their perspectives when she shared her story and heard over and over about how it resonated and offered hope to those who had often lost theirs.
Through the Ambassador program, Regina found that her own journey towards acceptance was entwined with helping others move forward in their own journeys. She used to feel frustrated when she thought of how active she had been before, but she no longer lets her diagnosis define her. Though she can no longer run 10 miles, she’s learned to take small steps and celebrate each one of them.
Today, Regina is living in Williamsburg, Virginia, and enjoying being a grandmother of three. She loves to spend time with her daughters in New York and Maryland, as well as her siblings who live nearby.