I live with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, POTS, MCAS, Chronic Migraines and other invisible disabilities. I spend much of my time advocating for people living with disabilities and chronic illness.
“Having a disability does not mean to be ‘unable’, but to do things differently than the norm. We are all equally as capable of greatness and success as anyone else.”
IDA Ambassador – Nebraska
Melissa Schroeder is a 24 year old advocate with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, POTS, MCAS, Chronic Migraines, among other comorbidities. In Spring of 2021 she graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in Multidisciplinary Studies. She focused on Business, Theatre, and Voice. Melissa is a three time state pageant titleholder and avid volunteer in her community. She recently won a gold Presidential Volunteer Award with over 500 service hours this past year.
Melissa spends her time advocating for those with disabilities, invisible disabilities, and for those with chronic illnesses. She works with her own platform, disABILITY which focuses on the abilities of those with disabilities, as well as support and education on disability rights. In 2021, Melissa started working with the Nebraska Legislature as a disability advocate and partnered with The Arc of Nebraska to help fight for disability rights. She was even given multiple speaking opportunities around her community to support this cause. Looking to the future, Melissa wishes to further her work and platform along with opening up an animal sanctuary to benefit those with chronic illnesses and disabilities through animal therapy. This year, Melissa will be focusing on finishing her children’s book about acceptance and inclusion.
Becoming an ambassador for the IDA was important to Melissa as part of her mission is to help people with invisible disabilities be seen and heard. Melissa knows first hand that having an invisible disability isn’t easy and comes with facing a lot of adversity. Bringing awareness and acceptance to this community is the first step to change.