PAN7: MyCounterpane with Kate Milliken

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“There is this moment where I was in the middle of New York City, I really imagined myself as the person at the cocktail party where somebody would say there is Kate Milliken in the corner. She’s single, she’s 35. It just didn’t work out for poor Kate.” Kate Milliken, Founder and CEO of MyCounterpane.com, shared about a down moment she experienced during her diagnosis.

While she was coming to terms with her diagnosis, a patient experience with her osteopath inspired Kate to take charge of her health. It was that moment where Kate decided to get activated in her health and take charge of her condition. Kate, a video producer by trade, produced a series of videos to showcase her first year with MS and launched them in 2009 on Katescounterpane.com.

MyCounterpane evolved from Kate’s experience showing the emotional side of being diagnosed with relapsing MS (in 2006) through personal storytelling. Kate’s experience struck a chord and the project gained wide viewership in the MS community, especially among the newly diagnosed.

What became clear to Kate through her own experience was that people need a way to connect each other not only via sharing the daily experience of illness (the clinical), but by sharing the emotions behind the illness (the psychological). Mycounterpane.com started with MS, but as the site gained traction, and other communities were born along with MS including mental health, epilepsy, Lyme disease, and chronic pain.MyCounterpane Moodify

MyCounterpane aims to be the experiential version of a counterpane patchwork quilt: a community that celebrates the virtual, remembers the real, and ultimately, counters pain with the knowledge of who we are, what we know, and how we feel.

Episode Outline

  • About Kate Milliken
  • Kate’s diagnosis story
  • Filming Kate’s journey and connecting on emotion
  • How Kate’s patient journey improved the patient experience
  • What is a counterpane and why it reflects the patient journey
  • About MyCounterpane
  • Moodifying your story
  • Closing thoughts

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