Unstoppable, award-winning advocate since 2013, Charis is a professionally disabled autistic writer, speaker, model and activist living with Axial Spondyloarthritis (axSpA), Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Charis’ story has been featured in mainstream media and in a 2019 documentary (Becoming Incurable). *They have spoken at numerous events including the Sacramento Changemakers TEDx series (2017); the Sacramento Women’s March (2018 & 2020), the Health Advocacy Summit (California, 2019), Galvanize CA by The United State of Women (2019), Broome Library Monthly Recognition Series Autism Month Lecture (2021) and on healthcare panels, press conferences, in legislative hearings, and with members of Congress on Capitol Hill.
Charis has been instrumental in creating spondyloarthritis disease treatment guidelines; designing and conducting patient-centered rheumatological research; forming international criteria for disease treatment outcomes; creating research guidelines; and is consistently involved in national/international advocacy, awareness, and legislative campaigns to improve spondylitis and disability education, funding, and access to treatment. In 2021, Charis worked with Congresswoman Doris Matsui and the Spondylitis Association of America to introduce House Resolution 135 which, if passed, will declare May ‘Spondyloarthritis Awareness Month’.
Charis has modeled in Los Angeles Style Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week and has been featured on the cover of Féroce magazine, Arthritis Today, Spondylitis Plus magazine, and in numerous Sacramento-based magazines.
In 2014 Charis was awarded the Progress in Policy Award by the Arthritis Foundation, Pacific Region for efforts in statewide and national legislative advocacy efforts; and in 2021 recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA). They volunteer as member of the SAA advocacy committee and attend professional rheumatology events with the same organization, are a member of the CreakyJoints/Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF) Patient Council and COVID-19 Patient Leadership Council, and serve on the Community Council for the National Pain Advocacy Center (NPAC). Charis writes for various media outlets; with bylines on HealthCentral, Healthline, Business Insider, The Mighty, AnkylosingSpondylitis.net, and This AS Life; including cover stories for Arthritis Today and Spondylitis Plus magazine.
Charis graduated in 2009 from Meredith College, Magna Cum Laude, with a BA in Sociology and minors in Psychology and Women’s Studies. When able, they enjoy sewing, cooking, gardening, thrift store shopping, attending Burning Man, and loving three very furry Maine-coon cats (Dora, Juno and Jujoon) and one fluffy part-Ragdoll cat (Madge).
*Charis uses they/them pronouns. To learn more about non-binary pronouns, check out this link.
Charis is available for speaking engagements, awareness campaigns, press inquiries, and more.
Reach by email: Charis.Anna.Hill[at]gmail.com
To see Charis in the news, check out the News & Media Mentions page.