S2E16: Finding Your Voice and Identity when Growing Up with a Rare Bone Disorder – Part One 

Meet warrior, Marlena Chertock, who was born with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, a rare bone disorder and form of dwarfism resulting in short stature, chronic pain, arthritis, scoliosis, and more. Marlena grew up knowing she was different from her peers. Tune in as Marlena shares how she navigated those differences, bullying, chronic pain, and medical interventions to find her identity, advocate for important causes, and become a published author. Marlena has published two works of poetry called Crumb-sized: Poemsand On that one-way trip to Mars. She works as a Communications Manager, Water at the World Resources Institute, sharing research and data that helps companies, cities, and countries understand water risks and invest in solutions for a water-secure future. She also serves on the Board of Split This Rock, a nonprofit that cultivates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change, and was previously the Co-Chair of OutWrite, Washington, D.C.’s annual LGBTQ literary festival. Marlena utilizes her life experience to shine a light on topics such as chronic pain, disability, sexuality, and science fiction. To learn about Marlena Chertock, go to marlenachertock.com

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