Photo of Michaela Parnell

Michaela Parnell 

Michaela Parnell has been nominated by Nickala Torkington of Flourish CIC.

Michaela says “Hi! Nickala has been my business mentor for the past two years. I’m studying a science communication and future media masters better research Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS).

My mission and purpose are that people with HS have better lives. Both my academic studies and aspirations for the HS social enterprise is led by the wicked problems of HS and people with HS unmet needs. My aims are to create an app and platform for HS.

Becoming an academic has enabled me to understand HS not only from the perspective of living with it but also scientifically to help others. Using creative Science communication, citizen science principles, ideas, and skillsets learned on the masters to support and develop HS campaigns, community, and evolving social enterprise.”

Who have you helped/ who will you help?

“I share what I can via the HS Action Together Facebook page. I have supported many people with HS in person and also via social media. I speak publicly about HS as without awareness, education and research nothing will change. At every event, I have met someone that either has HS, suspects they have HS or know someone.

The information has helped them and that is what is most important. I feel privileged and honoured to be a HISTORIC patient research partner collaborating with HS specialists on the domain trying to help define a flare for clinical trials for better outcomes for people with HS and attended the 2019 IDEOM meeting in Washington DC.”

What’s worked?

“People from the international HS community worked together using social media, Google Translate, the power of community to share stories, poems and artwork blended it with scientific facts about HS in our own voices to co-create The #HSMillionsHiding exhibit for the 2018 Manchester Science Festival Community Science Showcase. The content is on the University of Salford Community Science Showcase Figshare repository.

The HS Millions Hiding exhibit continues to help raise awareness and education of HS on social media, at festivals and conferences such as BLASTFEST, the 2019 Science in Public conference, and numerous events through the Flourish Network.  I presented it at a public engagement strategy event as a lightning talk at the Science in public conference.”

What have you learnt? Any challenges?

“I have learned that amazing things happen when we work together. I need support to continue on my journey to help others with HS.”

Why we’re sharing these stories

An individual or organisation from each of our five categories will be recognised at our Igniting Inspiration recognition event in November, but we want to publish all relevant stories to spread awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North!