Mars (Marina) Lombardi
Mars (Marina) Lombardi (they/them) is a patient expert, disability justice activist and advocate and current candidate for a Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology with a focus on complex neuroimmune and neurodegenerative disorders. Their work encompasses EDS/HDS, rare disease and patient advocacy, legislative activism in the field of public health and education outreach. Mars is a former Emergency Medical Technician and Firefighter. Their interest in mental health led to authoring “It’s My Divorce Too: divorce from a child’s perspective” as a teenager which provided opportunities to address families nationally, in person and on the radio. Mars worked on the Education Outreach team for Concussion Legacy Foundation presenting in Philadelphia area schools on awareness and prevention of sports related traumatic brain injuries.
Mars is active as a volunteer with The Ehlers-Danlos Society. They are an alum of the Advocacy ECHO program, 2020 Virtual Summer Conference speaker and member of the Community Coalition, which encompasses the Breaking Down Barriers Initiative, working to address numerous barriers in access to care people with disabilities, chronic illnesses and rare diseases. Mars is a classically trained musician who uses their skills to teach and manage a non-profit cultural arts organization in rural New York. Their skills and expertise provide accessible arts education and performance to youth and adults with varying physical and developmental needs.