Jessie Birnbaum has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wake Forest University and will be attending the School of Social Work at Boston University in the fall. She started experiencing severe headaches in early 2020 which further intensified into other debilitating symptoms. She was misdiagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and spent three years searching for an answer to explain her worsening health. During that time, she was diagnosed with a host of chronic illnesses as well as a rare disease that only has around fifteen documented cases. She works with Rare Youth Revolution and YARR (Young Adult Rare Representatives) to advocate for those with chronic and rare diseases. She co-founded a Special Interest Group through the International OCD Foundation to discuss the overlap between OCD and chronic illness/disability, which she runs bi-monthly over Zoom.