Claudia Merandi, of Providence, Rhode Island, is a patient advocate and founder of the national "Don't Punish Pain Rally" Organization.
Claudia, now 50, struggled with Crohn's Disease, since she was a child. Due to the severity of her illness, she was forced to sell Merandi Court Reporting, where she was both a court reporter/operator.
She spent several hundreds days in a hospital, underwent many painful stomach-related surgeries, including a colostomy bag and reversal.
She was introduced to pain management which afforded her the ability to live a life filled with quality. She's on Remicade, Methotrexate, intense physical therapy, and relies on a proactive lifestyle to stay out of the hospital.
Her journey for advocacy began after she authored her first book, "Crohn's Disease, the Other "C" Word; Crohn's Disease, Court Reporting, and Custody Battles."
(link to Amazon)
She went on to compete in two fitness competitions where she raised money for a kids with Crohn's. Her second book, a children's book, "Dotty on the Potty" takes you on a journey about a little girl living with Crohn's and the obstacles it presents.
(Soon to be released on Amazon.)
Claudia formed the Don't Punish Pain Rally in 2017 with five members; there's thousands across the country. The DPPR focuses on organizing protests for both patients and providers throughout the country while addressing the pain patient suffering. She's created the "Doctor's Collaborative" on dontpunishpainrally.com offering doctors a place to support one another in a confidential setting.
The Don't Punish Pain Rally is a volunteer-based organization with a GoFundMe to air their national commercial on television stations, both local and national, across the country.
She currently has pending legislation, in Rhode Island, that offers pain patients protection: "Claudia'a Bill RI HR5434."