“When someone tells you who they are, believe them.” This Maya Angelou quote–which took on new cultural currency in 2017–is the heart of Folks‘ mission: to listen to the stories of people living with health conditions from a position of belief and encouragement, with the hope that they will share their wisdom with everyone.
That’s why this year we sat down with over dozens of individuals from all walks of life, to ask them to tell us who they are in their own words. Here are just a few of the incredible people we interviewed this year. Let them tell you who they are.
Samantha Irby has made a career out of being witty about the unmentionable: what happens when you have problems on the toilet.
Sociologist Jack Fong talks to us about the death café movement, in which strangers come together over coffee to come to terms with their own mortality.
Sick of trite, cringe-worthy sympathy cards, cancer survivor Emily McDowell set out to show the likes of Hallmark how it should be done.
Born with highly superior autobiographical memory, Rebecca Sharrock can remember every meal she’s ever eaten, every book she’s ever read, and every word ever said to her… almost back to birth.
Hot on the heels of the international Hey Kirby tour, musician and producer Aesop Rock talks to Folks about his lyrics, latest album, and life-long battle with mental illness
After a stroke at 33 left her with amnesia, Christine Hyung-Oak Lee turned to journals to make sense of her present, her future, and her past.
Steph Aiello’s elaborate makeup tutorials have made her an Instagram star, but the quadriplegic beauty vlogger says she had to fake it before she could make it.
At 36, Eric Valor was diagnosed with ALS. Now, he’s using technology to carry him where his body cannot.
A heart attack can look very different for a woman than it does a man. As a national heart disease spokesperson, Shalini Suryanarayana wants women to know the warning signs.
Fleeing the war in Syria is perilous even when you can walk, but Nujeen Mustafa, who was born with cerebral palsy, had to make the 2,200-mile journey by wheelchair.
After donating a kidney to her husband, Jen Reeder founded Rock 1 Kidney to assuage common fears about organ donation. (Like: yes, you can still drink.)