WEGO Health has the largest network of patient leaders in the world. Every year they recognise them via their renowned awards process. I first discovered them in 2016 and decided to apply. As at 2021, I have now won 3 awards, been in 8 finals following around 27 nominations for various categories. WEGO Health and many of their patient leaders now know about Neuroendocrine Cancer.
The story of WEGO Health and my experience with them is outlined below. I encourage you to watch the 2021 announcements below, so inspiring. The 2021 awards were special because all records were broken in terms of nominees. From 21,000, that had to be reduced to just 96, 6 in each of 16 categories. It’s quite a feat just to get into the finals and I was in awe of the quality of the finalists, to the point that I felt I had no chance of winning anything. So, a third Best in Show award in 2021 was so humbling and I am so proud. And it’s an award for Neuroendocrine Cancer too, they all are. I am so thankful to those who nominated me, those who endorsed me to make up the numbers needed to become a finalist, and to the judges who saw something they liked in what I’m doing. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!
Who are WEGO Health?
WEGO Health is a mission-driven company dedicated to transforming healthcare by harnessing the experience, skills and insights of patient leaders. They are a network of over 100,000 patient leaders from all types of illnesses and conditions. I’m proud to be one of them.
In June 2021, Health Union, the leader in building online health solutions for people living with chronic conditions, announced that it has acquired WEGO Health, the world’s largest network of patient leaders – advocates, community leaders, creators and influencers. Combining Health Union’s targeted scale and depth in the condition experience with WEGO Health’s breadth of patient leaders in nearly all health conditions, Health Union aims to change the face of social health, connecting people in meaningful and innovative ways. The WEGO brand name will continue as normal. Read more below.
My WEGO Award History
In 2016, I was nominated for 6 awards, selected as a finalist for 2 of those (Blog and Community) and then won the Best in Show Community award. Listen to my WEGO Finalist podcast in 2016 – click here
I was introduced to podcasting at this point and took part in one as part of the award celebrations. Listen to that here
6th Annual Awards - 2017
In 2017, I was nominated for 3 awards, Blog, Patient Hero and Lifetime Achievement. I actually made the final of all 3 – unsuccessful but proud to have gotten so far in 3 different categories.
7th Annual Awards - 2018
In 2018, I was nominated for 5 awards and made to the final in the Blog category. This is not only another great opportunity for me as a blogger and health activist but also a further opportunity for Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness. After 3 successful finals in the Best in Show Blog category, I finally won over the judges and was declared the winner. This was a real turning point for my work and shortly after that win, my blog views reached 1 million. I wrote about that for WEGO. Read that piece in here.
After this award I wrote an article for WEGO Health when my blog reached 1 million hits – read about that here.
8th and 9th Annual Awards - 2019/2020
2019 and 2020. I declined any nominations coming out of the awards; it was a personal choice due to an overload of commitments.
10th Annual Awards - 2021
2021. The story continues with a dozen nominations and a finalist in Blog and Lifetime Achievement. On 23rd September 2021, it was announced that I had won the Lifetime Achievement award. Clearly, I had my eye on the Blog award again but as far as I know, no-one has ever won it twice – that’s probably a good thing, so many patient voices need to be heard. Now …”lifetime” has an air of “retirement” about it but I can assure you while I am over the moon to have won this award, I have zero intentions of retiring. In fact, my intention is to step up a gear, watch this space.
One thing which did catch my eye in the announcements came from Jack Barrette, former CEO of WEGO Health but now Chief Innovation Officer at Health Union who said “….the WEGO Health Awards were born to recognize the patient leaders who often go unrecognized. The folks who lead communities every day with support, education and love.”
You can watch the announcements at this link below. Important to watch the intro and the summary and if you wanted to see my own award for Lifetime Achievement, that’s around the 33-minute mark. It’s an inspiring experience to watch all 16 award announcements – so many worthy patient leaders there, it’s humbling.
Why awards generate awareness
There’s a number of reasons why awards generate awareness. I said from day 1, my tactics were to generate awareness in new audiences. Sharing my story in new places does this. It’s also a chance to take up speaking and other opportunities in new places. I was totally blown away by a message from Jack Barrette, then CEO of WEGO (now Chief Innovation Office for Health Union). I think really sums up the benefits for Neuroendocrine Cancer.
My WEGO Profile
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