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Andrea Ogg (she/her)
Disability, Chronic Illness & Transplant
Place of Birth: Houston, TX, USA
Current location: Denver, CO, USA
Age: 56 years old
Language/s: English, some Spanish, French and Italian
CALD/Heritage: Scottish and North European ancestry
Diagnoses: Heart transplant (2018), cardiomyopathy, brain injury, immunosuppression, PTSD, anxiety, depression, extensive scarring, chronic kidney disease
Healthcare Access: Primary Health Care, Mental Health, Secondary and Tertiary care
Andrea Ogg is a speaker and advocate for disability, chronic illness and organ donation/transplant, with lived experience of receiving a heart transplant in 2018 and a late-diagnosed congenital heart defect - Left Ventricular Non-Compaction Cardiomyopathy - which she inherited from her mother. While she failed to thrive as an infant and exhibited all the symptoms of her disease throughout her young life, she remained undiagnosed until the age of 36.
After the diagnosis, Andrea had her life-long experiences, brushed off as ‘laziness’ by employers, educators and loved ones, validated. Living life with a disability that she was unaware of, that required her to work harder than everyone else to perform the same tasks, she was able to use her new awareness to educate others on how to improve accommodations for people with invisible disabilities in the workplace.
Despite Andrea having lived with this her entire life, the diagnosis brought news that she would be unable to have children, required urgent surgery to implant a defibrillator and that she would eventually need a heart transplant. At the same time, she went through a divorce.
Finally in 2018 at the age of 52, Andrea received her new heart, and with the life saving surgery came an acquired brain injury that impacted the Executive Center of her brain, costing her 10 IQ points, her critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills, and ultimately her career as a marketing executive. However, with a new lease on life she has become a public speaker, performed as an actress, singer and dancer in multiple award-winning musicals, competed in various 5k races, traveled the world, climbed mountains, embarked on a modelling career, and volunteered as a Resilience Coach for other heart transplant patients.
Andrea has unique perspectives on living well, grief and resilience, and how education, employment and medical systems can improve their care of people with invisible disabilities. She has additional insights garnered from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and navigating it as an immunocompromised heart transplant recipient, meaning she cannot effectively fight infectious disease or generate high levels of antibodies from the vaccines.
Andrea is currently planning a 7-day hiking trip to Machu Picchu and training for her first half marathon and is excited to share her story and advocate from her lived experience of organ transplant, chronic illness, invisible disabilities, medical PTSD, anxiety and depression.
ACHIEVEMENTS & EXPERIENCE
B.A. in Communications from University of Houston
Post-Baccalaureate work in Creative Writing at Rice University
Continuing Education with Harvard Business Publishing
Finalist for 2023 class for Go Red for Women - Amercian Heart Association
30 year career in Marketing & Sales
Viral & Social Media Hall of Fame award – MarketingSherpa
Various Gold medal awards from organizations - Business Marketing Association
2020 Winner – Middle Age Success Stories – published in Bored Panda
Featured in CNN article
Stage resume that includes lead rolls in musicals like Annie, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and Mamma Mia
Featured in multiple commercials/promo videos for products or services
Andrea Ogg - Andrea's website
BlOgg - Andrea's blog
'They got illicit Covid-19 vaccine doses – and say they’d do it again in a heartbeat' - Andrea featured in CNN article about immunocompromised patients vaccine access
'40 Wholesome Middle-Age Success Stories' - Andrea featured by Bored Panda
'Dramatically Transformed - Andrea Ogg - UWMC Leadership Institute Speech' - Andrea’s speech as a patient advocate at the University of Washington Medical Center Leadership Conference
'Rothschild Safaris - Promo Video' - Andrea Promotional video for Rothschild Safaris
'A Dream of Africa' - Andrea interviewed by Rothschild Safaris
'Amazon Chime: Frustration-Free Meetings with Exceptional Audio and Video Quality' - Andrea featured in Amazon advertisement as a video conference attendee
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