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community advocates

Ashton Nesmith Kochera

Community Leader
Support Group Leader
Tri-State EDS Support Group
2nd Floor, Conference Room
WVU-Healthcare, Dorothy McCormack Center
Martinsburg, Virginia, United States

Ashton was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome after suffering for 25 years undiagnosed. Ashton is passionate about patient advocacy, education and providing emotional support to others affected by Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Ashton has earned a degree in teaching but as a direct result of her unpredictable and demanding health condition, Ashton was forced to pursue other ventures that was less physically taxing. Her passion to help others came easy as she obtained her Doula certification and co-founded Hagerstown Birth, a non-profit advocacy organization. Ashton is a member of several medical advocacy organization. She is the leader of Tri-State EDS Support Group and serves on the Patient Advisory Board for EDS Wellness. Ashton is also a legislative advocate/rare disease lobbyist for the state of West Virginia and was personally awarded for her service by West Virginia Governor, Earl Ray Tomblin in 2016. Ashton wrote about her personal journey to diagnosis which has now been published in two separate medical books. Between spending time with her family and friends, enjoying what life has to offer around her home in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, Ashton continues to obtain opportunities to attend continuing education classes and medical conferences to further her knowledge as a Patient Advocate…of course, as her health permits.

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