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VOLVOX: Making Narrative Medicine Happen Alumni Speaker Series

A Daughter’s Silence Amid AIDS: How Narrative Medicine Changed the Way I Tell my Story with Melanie Brooks, CPA'23

Secrecy characterized the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, stigmatizing many people who contracted the disease. Melanie Brooks lived in the shadow of that silence as a teen and young adult after her father contracted HIV through a blood transfusion. Twenty years after his death, she has brought her story into the light through her memoir, A Hard Silence: One Daughter Remaps Family, Grief, and Faith When HIV/AIDS Changes It All.  

Brooks will discuss how narrative medicine’s core principle of representation helped her to find space for stories like hers that veer away from the “expected” narratives and to gain confidence that her voice as a family caregiver matters.  

She will talk about how we can all encourage others to find creative expression for their lived experience of health and healthcare and own their individual voices.

Headshot of Caucasian woman smiling with long blonde hair and a black v-neck top

Additional Speakers

Cherie Henderson, MS'14