User: Brindley Brooks

Brindley Brooks


Armpit envy; it’s something I’m sure most have not experienced, or even considered. For those with HS, this is a normal occurrence. Being constantly aware of your clothing, drainage and odor are things that no one else takes into account on a normal day, but they are constantly running through the head of someone with HS. Wearing tank tops in summer, let alone bathing suits, strike fear in our hearts. I have tried, like most of us, almost everything to help with my HS. Some “treatments” made the situation worse and just added insult to injury. I was finally advised to see a surgeon and begrudgingly agreed. This consultation led me to the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. It has had a tremendous impact on my HS, and as a result, my entire life.

I've suffered from Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) for over years, beginning at the age of 10 as recurrent boil-like abscesses and I wasn’t diagnosed until 16 (like most with HS, it's typically a 7-10 year timeframe to diagnosis). I didn’t share my condition with anyone for fear of being seen as “gross” and unclean, which continued into adulthood. It wasn’t until I had wide excision surgery 5 years ago that I began telling people about my HS. 

I met Denise in an HS support group, and as a result, HS Connect (hsconnect.org) was born. Our patient-led non-profit organization focuses on eradicating misconceptions and stigmas, spreading factual and accurate information, and providing resources for everyone who suffers, including the medical community. 

I have 2 daughters with HS, a biological daughter 15, Stage 2 and stepdaughter, age 19, Stage 1. I hope to help eliminate the shame that HS patients face and move HS in the right direction with the help of HS Connect as a patient, parent, and advocate.

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