Kendra Neilsen Myles
Entrepreneur. Creative. Risk taker. Writer. Self-motivated. Driven. Thinker. Business minded. Action oriented. Fast leaner. Team player. Health Educator. Fundraiser. Speaker. Leader. Community focused. Passionate.
Kendra Neilsen Myles holds a B.S. in Public Health with a concentration in exercise science from University of Maryland. After working with health education programs at Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington, DC; sports medicine/physical therapy programs including Fitness for Health in Rockville, MD; and at the Women’s Health Clinic at University of Maryland while she was in college; Kendra opted to put continuing her medical education on hold, in order to help care for her mother who was sick with breast cancer. She found the “job of her dreams,” working for Johnson & Johnson as a territory manager for their Ortho-McNeil Women’s Healthcare division. Kendra remained in her position for 6 years, earning numerous top sales awards during her tenure, until she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome after the birth of her first child. Using the year and half that she had to take off from her career with Johnson & Johnson, she focused on regaining her strength and determination through ways that she knew were best to care for herself, with the goal of returning to work in the profession she loved. During this time, Kendra sought a means to support her family through self-employment. Once her employer benefits ended, Kendra was required to apply for social security disability and after 2 denials, she was awarded benefits at the age of 27. Faced with a difficult decision, Kendra made a bold choice and declined the benefits of Social Security Disability and immediately started Mediterina Medical Solutions. Kendra believed she could build a business that would meet her health and financial needs – and Mediterina Medical Solutions, almost a decade later, proves this to be true as she has sold a fantastic product to hospitals through exclusive rights in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD area.
Over the last 8½ years, Kendra has been an independent medical representative for Histoacryl Tissue Adhesive, grown Mediterina Medical Solutions into more than “just something” she could do on her own, and provided life-changing freedom for herself and her family. Along with providing resources and support for Histoacryl and other medical device and supply products, Kendra started a small photography business with her sister called, SistersMedia.
Kendra has spoken about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome from a patient’s perspective several times to the first-year medical students through the Department of Genetics at the University of Maryland and for the last 2½ years, she has served as a volunteer for the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation by answering HelpLine emails. It was through Kendra’s personal experience as a patient with EDS seeking information and resources where she saw voids that needed to be filled due to a lack of awareness and knowledge. Her desire to help people with EDS, personal passion for fitness, health, and nutrition, coupled with the knowledge that her healthy lifestyle was the main reason why she has been able to maintain a normal life despite living with several chronic health conditions, was what prompted her to start EDS Patient Solutions 4 years ago.
Kendra believes consistency, discipline, and hard work pays off in her personal and business lives. Due to these beliefs, she opted to focus on the growth of Mediterina Medical Solutions, volunteering with EDNF, supporting the EDS community through various activities, and her health following her most recent EDS spiral following back-to-back pregnancies, instead of diving into the development of EDS Patient Solutions right away.
In marrying her active lifestyle with her passion to aid the EDS community, Kendra organized the 1st EDS Ride for a Cause benefitting The Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation (EDNF) at Zengo Cycle. This was the first “active” fundraiser for EDS ever done in the US and was just one of the ways that Kendra has been able to help serve the EDS Community, while also sharing how passionate she is about living a healthy and active lifestyle with EDS.
It was through Kendra’s desire to find others with EDS like her and her need to recruit for the EDS Ride for a Cause, she networked on her Instagram profile,
Strength/Flexibility/Health/EDS, and branched-out to other social media platforms. Through recruiting for the EDNF fundraiser, she was able to further see how imperative an active and healthy lifestyle was to overall quality of life for everyone living with EDS. Subsequently, Kendra was provided the opportunity to share this information with the teens at the 2014 EDNF conference in Houston, Texas. Her passion was ignited with greater intensity and she found a clear direction of what she wanted to do. During this time, Kendra discovered with whom she wanted to work; which led to the official launch of EDS Patient Solutions.
Through connecting with others on Kendra’s personal health, fitness, and “living with EDS” account, which included Mysti, the author of Journey to Health: A Holistic Approach to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and mom of 2 boys her own boys’ ages, it was more that apparent 2 things needed to happen immediately:
1. SFHEDS needed a website/blog
2. Together with Mysti, a platform for patients was needed to provide the opportunity to share good news stories as they live with chronic illnesses. Those stories, published collectively, would begin with an anthology called, Our Stories of Strength™ – Living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Our Stories of Strength™ series is just the beginning of a long-standing partnership between Kendra and Mysti.
As SFHEDS’s blog approached completion, Our Stories of Strength – Living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome by Our SOS Media, LLC was sent for print, the 2nd Annual EDS Ride for a Cause was scheduled for November 2015, additional opportunities came to partner with healthcare professionals who are interested in learning more about diagnosing, treating, and caring for patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. These opportunities include partnering with two local physical therapists by offer hypermobility seminars (www.movingnaturallywithhypermobility.com) to both patients, other physical therapists and healthcare providers, as well as other EDS related projects. Additional projects involve working with both physicans and other patients within the broader wellness and medical communities — Wellapalooza conferences are one of these projects.
It is through of all these recent life developments and new opportunities that EDS Patient Solutions and Our SOS Media, LLC have the opportunity to provide others with knowledge and tools necessary to regain their strength, health, and life while living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and other chronic conditions through health and life coaching, support services, and networking with healthcare professionals.
Kendra lives in Bethesda, MD and is the owner of two small businesses, Mediterina Medical Solutions and EDS Patient Solutions, as well as is the Co-Owner of Our SOS Media, LLC. Kendra writes for her blog, Strength/Flexibility/Health/EDS, continues to speak about EDS through various opportunities, and is also a volunteer with The Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation (EDNF). She has been married for 12 years and has 3 beautiful children. Other than having a passion for fitness, health, and nutrition; Kendra is a closet Apple genius, avid first-adopter of all things health and fitness-tech related, photographer, traveler, reader and thoroughly enjoys helping others.