The majority of #MEAction staff are people living with ME, making our team uniquely positioned to understand the real-life impacts of the government and medical community’s decisions or inaction on the disease.
Shalida Dobbins (Activist and Volunteer Coordinator)
Shalida Dobbins is an author and disability rights activist from Cleveland, Ohio. Born with sacral agenesis, she has been in a wheelchair since the age of three. Shalida has over a decade of experience with writing and activism, she studied journalism at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She uses her experiences as a black disabled woman to help advocate for others who are disabled, especially those who are a part of marginalized groups. In Cleveland she serves as the vice-chair of Clevelander’s for Public Transit where she works to make sure the public transit system is accessible and equitable. She is always trying to find new ways to make sure the disabled community has a voice in the world.
Ben HsuBorger (U.S. Advocacy Director)
Problem-solver, project manager. Over the past 10 years Ben has worked in nonprofit, academic and government organizations on projects spanning: microfinance, study-abroad, public health, fair housing and community development. He is a former Fulbright scholar eager to help teams innovate through better integration of people, processes and information. He loves extra-large whiteboards.
Laurie Jones (Executive Director)
Laurie has years of experience working in non-profits and the arts. Prior to joining the #MEAction team, Laurie was the Director of Impact for Unrest, using the film to educate and advocate for those in the ME community. She has served as Programs Director at Brave New Films, worked on the Why Poverty? film campaign and fundraised for United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. She has a BA in Production Studies in Performing Arts from Clemson University and an MA in Applied Human Rights from the University of York.
Holly Latham (Social Media Manager)
Holly has been an enthusiastic volunteer in a variety of capacities in the ME community for years. She had two strong passions prior to illness: facilitating compassionate communities and advocacy. She was on track to turn these passions into a career with a psychology major and goals of a master’s degree and doctorate until ME struck and derailed her plans. Holly worsened from more moderately ill to 23.5 hours a day in a darkened room holding on through the pain and hoping for better days. Eventually, those better days did come and Holly immediately turned to the active online ME community. She jumped right into advocacy as a co-manager of the Justice for Karina Hansen campaign. She has since volunteered in a variety of roles through #MEAction where she has used her talents for advocacy and community building. Holly is excited to serve the community in the role of social media manager.
Marynka Marquez (Development Coordinator)
Marynka has worked in non-profits and research for over 10 years. Prior to working for #MEAction, Marynka was the Medical Coordinator at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas, working with medical providers to grant the wishes of children with life threatening illnesses. She also served as Development Administrator at Family Compass for several years, overseeing donor database system operations and ensuring efficiency of donor relations for the purpose of child abuse prevention. She has a BA in Psychology from Texas Tech University and an MA in Applied Human Rights from the University of York. Marynka is currently a PhD student in Politics and researcher at the University of York.
Steven Molony (Video & Communications Manager)
Steven Molony has been shooting #MillionsMissing footage and editing videos for #MEAction since 2017. As of 2021, he signed on in a greater capacity to assist in advancing #MEAction’s mission. Molony is an actor, writer, and filmmaker with a passion for using that skill set to serve others.
Erin Roediger (Programs and Campaigns Director)
Erin began her professional career working for health non-profits. She has worked as both an events manager and volunteer coordinator with her focus on ensuring individuals felt connected to the cause and were energized to take action. While working, Erin supplemented her knowledge by earning a Masters in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University, providing a deeper understanding into human relationships and connections. She has also worked on several electoral campaigns. Training volunteers on these campaigns, Erin witnessed firsthand how a powerful group of individuals can create change in their communities, especially when they are working together towards a common goal.
Jaime Seltzer (Scientific Director)
Jaime Seltzer was an educator in the sciences when she contracted ME. Through research, determination, and the help of hundreds of other patients posting their experiences, she was able to restore some of her well-being.
Seltzer did freelance writing before accepting a position as an Assistant Professor in graduate-level Organic Chemistry. In 2016, she was hired as Managing Editor for #MEAction, where she played a key role in organizing the #MillionsMissing protests, engaged with representatives on Capitol Hill, the CDC, and the NIH, and represented #MEAction at scientific conferences. In 2017, Seltzer was hired to work at the Stanford Genome Technology Center, doing benchwork and research writing, helping to create disease models and investigate treatments.
Chimére L. Smith (Consultant)
Chimére L. Smith is also a writer and thought leader who has appeared on Next Question with Katie Couric, MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin, The Washington Post, Medium, and on PBS NewsHour. She has been consistently coined as a “passionate” patient-led advocate after attracting the attention of local politicians, doctors, and hospital administration to receive life-saving care as she battled Covid-19.
Since June 2020, she has used her social media platforms, engagement in grass-root Covid-19 support groups (notably Body Politic and BIPOC Women Long Covid “Long Hauler” Support Group), and strong media presence to raise awareness about the importance of Black voices in conversations on the prevention, treatment, and research of Long Covid in urban communities.
In April 2021, Smith was praised for her heart-wrenching and brazen testimony during a bipartisan Congressional hearing on Long Covid after becoming the first Black woman to detail her Long Covid experience. She recently documented her testimony in Huffington Post. And in July 2021, she was a featured panelist on Japan’s NHK’s Global Agenda, speaking on the mental health effects of the pandemic on women and children.
Chimére currently writes about her experience in dating, romance, and physical intimacy as a Black woman with Long Covid and is now learning how to navigate her new life, disability, and purpose as a patient consultant and public speaker.
Adriane Tillman (Public relations manager)
Adriane graduated with degrees in literature and Russian language. She worked as a newspaper journalist for five years, and consulted in marketing and copywriting before joining #MEAction.
Terri L. Wilder (Consultant)
Terri L. Wilder, MSW is a social worker and activist for the rights of people living with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), Long COVID, and HIV. She has worked in public health since 1989 providing social services, coordinating education for clients and medical providers, managing volunteer-led programs, and advocating for policy change. She has presented at local national, and international conferences on a variety of health topics. Terri was diagnosed with ME in March 2016. Since her diagnosis she has worked with elected officials, public health departments, health care providers, and activists to raise awareness and change policy around ME in New York State and across the globe. She was finishing her PhD in Sociology at Georgia State University when she became ill however believes she has had the disease since 1996. She has years of experience working with #MEAction and has represented the group on the federal Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC), and during NIH, CDC, and HHS meetings. She uses the skills she learned from the HIV movement and the LGBTQ+ community to fight for the ME and Long COVID community.
Our country programs are led and sustained via a collaboration between our staff and volunteers.