After 14 years of industry-leading work as a revenue growth strategist, sales leader and data scientist, Kristen Thomasino found herself on a path she never saw coming.
Having suffered an unexpected accident on a flight of stairs in 2016, in addition to her ongoing struggle with severe fibromyalgia, her life was interrupted by full-body weakness, pain, and overwhelming brain fog. She could have let this alter her otherwise optimistic outlook and damage the course of her career. Instead, the tenacious and passionate entrepreneur found her path to recovery.
Now, she’s advocating for others to do the same through her newly-founded company, Thomasino Media LLC. As Founder and CEO, Thomasino created a series of social good art, public speaking engagement content, books, and a documentary series following the empowering story of her healing, including 17 months of training on a 225-acre ranch in Malibu, Calif.
She has also founded a second organization, Buddytown Consulting LLC, to consult others on the best ways to get business done with technology for operations and increase sales; she is also engaging in select Think Tank projects.
Why build this creative media outlet after a time of healing and overcoming immense adversity? “To bring awareness and tools for recovery to those who need it most,” she tells California Business Journal.
With a focus on peace, love, health, and prosperity, the tech guru and thought leader turned into a health and wellness advocate to encourage the fibromyalgia and healthcare communities to take action.
“Unexpected events happen and I know how overwhelming that can be,” she says. “As a Data Scientist for AvidXchange, one of the largest business-to-business payment networks in the country, I looked at all kinds of data to understand our customer’s needs to. Later I applied my research skills to find answers for my own case of fibromyalgia, studying seemingly unrelated conditions and disorders and diseases with different approaches for living and healthcare.”
When it came to recovery, she trained with doctors she wholeheartedly trusted and put her background of strategizing and data research to good use. The same way she worked on each project in her career in bite-size pieces, she did with her own body.
“I was trained as a Scrum Master early in my career to manage complex projects with lots of unknowns. I also went through years of training from the Rhythm Systems organization in Charlotte,” she reflects. “I still apply those principles with new learnings from my personal health experiences. Bite-size pieces are the key. Your body matters. How you treat yourself matters.”
One of the points that helped her persevere through the difficulties of recovery, as well as sharing her story with the world, is the strength and deeply-rooted history of her family. As the daughter of a decorated U.S. Army Officer, Legion of Merit winner, and doctor, as well as granddaughter of a World War II decorated D-Day veteran, she understands the duty as a civilian to create positive outcomes, embrace peace, and maintain prosperity.
“I suffered for many years in ways that I would never want others to experience,” she says. “I wondered, ‘how can I help them as a patient advocate? How could others who also improved their health get a chance to share their stories of success?’ Everyone makes choices in their life and education matters.”
Of all the work she has done since launching her organizations, perhaps the most rewarding has been partnering with the Support Fibromyalgia Network, Looms for Lupus and others on educational events and advocacy projects. Now that she’s strong enough, she hopes to inspire other patients to reduce their suffering just as she did and improve their quality of life. Through her consulting organization, Buddytown Consulting LLC, she is recruiting other leaders from organizations working with the sick to join her Strategic Think Tank Council to work on solutions to better the lives of suffering Americans.
“Sure, I could’ve have quit,” she says, but she chose to keep dreaming, keep pushing forward, and remaining curious and enthusiastic about what’s next. Her tenacity, ambition and high spirits is what prevented her from ever taking a step backward.
“Working through the process of creating this storytelling content has enabled me to heal in many ways and process the trauma of having severe health conditions. Your life changes in many ways. I know now what it means to have to take it one day at a time. I hope to be an inspiration for others to take action. Your life matters.” — Kristen Thomasino
Her so-to-be published collections include a plethora of creative platforms including books, magazine articles, art, photography, theater shows, motivational workshops, and the documentary series. With these myriad outlets, she raises awareness and champions support for patient access to necessary goods and services for their own fibromyalgia or autoimmune conditions. She recently performed at the Granada Theater in Uptown Minneapolis, Minnesota to record as a milestone for her documentary series (sign up here: www.thomasinomedia.com).
“Community is paramount for survival,” she recognizes. “Networking is the key to my success early in life, during my time of severe suffering, and now in the next phase of my social-good projects. Our greatest opportunity,” she concludes, “is our ability to transform.”
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