The Philadelphia Tribune | TV producer keeps life, lupus in check
Emmy-nominated TV producer Adrienne Nicole faced a major decision several years ago when she was diagnosed with lupus.
Faced with the life-changing news, Nicole chose a better quality of life over a full-time position, where stress on the job and at home triggered her first lupus flareup. Instead of giving up her craft, she pivoted and launched Adrienne Nicole Productions (ANP) to better manage her career and health, and is now a leader in digital commercials for healthcare and multicultural curated stories.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Symptoms include Inflammation which can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.
Nicole’s brand produces video content for a diverse clientele including Arthritis Foundation, Lupus Research Alliance, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Cancer Expert Now, Novartis, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Walmart, McCann Advertising, TVOne, and more. She recently received the prestigious honor of being highlighted as a Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Small Business Success Story and is featured in the current MWBE campaign on media platforms around New York City.
“I didn’t want people to think I couldn’t do my job because I couldn’t stand for long periods of time,” Nicole explains. “I was producing backstage shows that required quite a bit on the body, and I didn’t want to not be able to get work because of it. I was a little scared to say anything, so I worked it out in silence. It took me meeting some other lupus patients who were in higher profile positions than I was in and were open about it. I did give me some courage. Also meeting other people and sharing my story with them encouraged them. I decided if I could be a light to someone else and help some else then I need to stop being silent. And, if I’m able to determine my own career path now with a production company then I don’t need to be concerned, or have co-workers concerned, about what I can or can’t do.”
In advance of National Patient Awareness and Safety Week (March 10-16), Nicole is sharing her experience as a lupus survivor with tips for fellow patients, from finding the best doctor to financial burdens and wellness habits.
“For anyone to be truly well, they need to advocate for themselves,” Nicole says. “Now, I didn’t understand the importance of that until I found myself deep in the health care system dealing with multiple physicians, physician assistants, lab technicians and all of people who are a part of your care.
“I encourage everyone to ask questions. Don’t just sit and take information, particularly if you don’t understand, ask a physicians or any other professional who will be happy to answer your question,” Nicole says. “If they are not happy to do so, you need to find someone else to treat you. You must be informed about what is happening.
“I also encourage people to think outside of the box and be open to new treatments, particular if your health is in a dire situation, there are a lot of options that your physicians may or may not know. There is a lot of work that scientists are performing and studies that happening and I encourage everyone to ask their physician about the latest happenings.”
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