City & state: Ashland, OR

Age: 52 years old

Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain advocate since 2017

Health conditions: Complex regional pain syndrome and early-onset degenerative disc disease

Favorite tips for living with chronic pain: “Check your expectations. Think in moments versus days or hours (“This is a tough moment” versus: “This is a hard day”). Be empowered by choice, even in the bleakest most painful moments…choose how you are going to respond.”

Fun fact: “I am fluent in American Sign Language. In undergraduate school, I became intrigued with the beautiful language. When I was still learning, I wanted so badly to work with deaf kids that I pretended I knew how to sign, and landed a job at a residential school for deaf children! It was “sink or swim,” so I learned quickly. It was a good fit for me since I’m naturally expressive and animated.”

Elisa Friedlander has been an active advocate for chronic pain patients for years. Elisa was very active during the 2019 Pain Awareness Month campaign, securing both the state of Oregon and the city of Ashland Pain Awareness Month proclamation, submitting a video for the Storyathon, and hosting an information table. She attended the Pain Connection chronic pain support group training and has since begun her own support group in Ashland, OR. She also just attended U.S. Pain’s Advocacy Summit in Texas. Her positive attitude and perseverance not only make her an asset to the chronic pain community but a source of joy for those struggling in pain.