Karina Sturm

Short Bio

Karina is a multi-media journalist and filmmaker from Germany who has lived in San Francisco for seven years. She gained significant scientific knowledge through studying laboratory technology and working in research for several years. Due to a chronic illness and invisible disability, she found her passion for media production and has been working as a freelance journalist since 2013. In 2019, she finished her Master’s degree by producing a feature-length documentary called ”We Are Visible” to highlight how to improve reporting on people with disabilities in media. ”We Are Visible” has won several movie awards, while Karina graduated with distinction from her journalism program. Karina’s main focus is to represent people with illnesses and disabilities accurately in the media to reduce biases and stereotypes. She thinks disabled journalists should be reporting on disability.

New Projects!

A Lego figure showing a grandma in a wheelchair with a supergirl shirt. Next to is Rita, the actual grandma with grey hair.

Film Projects

Film Festival Laurel: Official Selection Commffest Global Community Film & Arts Festival 2021
Black film festival laurel: Annual nomination, CFIFF, Changing Face International Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature, 2021
Festival Laurel: Official Selection, Meraki Film Festival, 2021
Black letters on white background: Official Selection, Accolade Global Film Competition, 2019

Articles

Audio

Ian Harding

Ian Harding is an actor, teen choice award winner, author, and passionate bird lover. Besides being known for playing Ezra Fitz, a controversial character on the show Pretty Little Liars, the 34-year-old is a passionate advocate for people with lupus, an empathetic son to a mother with the chronic condition, and an ally to people with disabilities around the globe. Journalist Karina Sturm speaks with Ian about his childhood in Germany, his acting career, his work for the Lupus Foundation of America, a future film project, his most kept secrets, the items he would bring to a deserted island, and disability language and ableism. 

Listen to my interview with Ian HERE.

Haben Girma

ABILITY Magazine’s journalist Karina Sturm met with Haben Girma, disability rights advocate, author and first deaf-blind Harvard Law school graduate on a sunny day in Palo Alto to speak about Haben’s advocacy, her book, the White House, the ADA, education, and employment for people with disabilities and much more.

Listen to my interview with Haben HERE.

Proud Stutter Podcast

ABILITY Magazine’s journalist Karina Sturm met with Maya Chupkov, co-host of Proud Stutter, a podcast trying to shift the narrative around stuttering. In this episode, Maya talks about growing up with a speech disability, why she created Proud Stutter and what she has learned from her advocacy work. Find out more about Proud Stutter on their website: https://www.proudstutter.com

Listen to the episode HERE.

Blogposts

A collage of several images in varying colors of social media icons and the face of a person
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EDS Advocates to Follow on Social Media

The Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes may be considered a group of (mostly) rare connective tissue disorders; however, our community is more diverse and stronger than ever, with many advocates sharing their experiences and knowledge via social media.…
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A New EDS Clinic Coming to a Town Near You (Via Telehealth)

Chronic Pain Partners is excited to speak with David Jameson Harris, a former McKinsey consultant, about his latest project, a new Ehlers-Danlos syndrome clinic, hopefully offering access to expert EDS care in several states starting in February…
A bright background with a serious looking girl in the foreground. She has long blonde hair and brown eyes. Title: Take care of Maya
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New Netflix Documentary ‘Take Care of Maya’ Highlighting Wrongful Child Abuse Allegations

[CW: Suicide] Netflix has just released the highly anticipated documentary, "Take Care of Maya," which unveils the heart-wrenching journey of the Kowalski family as they confront and challenge wrongful child abuse allegations. Directed by…
A female doctor with a blue surgical robe and a blue cap holding up a purple stethoscope.
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Mastering Appointments Successfully With EDS

Content: Becoming a Professional Patient: Why is it Necessary? Medical Gaslighting Challenges for Medical Professionals and Consequences in Patient Care  Becoming the Professional Patient Before the Appointment During the…
Caitlin, a woman with long red hair is sitting on a chair in her backyard. The sun is shining. She wears a blue shirt and sits in front of a gigantic orange tree with lots of oranges and green leaves.
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We Are Visible (Too), Episode 2: Caitlin O’Donnell

We Are Visible (Too) is an ongoing mini-film series portraying people with EDS all across the globe. In this mini-documentary series, we will continue on the We Are Visible  – a feature-length film about people with EDS – journey and add…
Billie Eilish, a woman with black shoulder-long hair all dressed in black.
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Popular People With Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Over the last years, more and more famous Hollywood stars have come out with having been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, sharing their journey on social media and with the press to raise awareness. For EDS Awareness Month, Chronic Pain…
A Lego figure showing a grandma in a wheelchair with a supergirl shirt. Next to is Rita, the actual grandma with grey hair.
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Lego Oma

Lego Oma One-Liner:  Lego Oma is a short film about a quirky German grandma who builds wheelchair ramps from Lego.  Rita Ebel Melle Summary:  Lego Oma is a 12-minute micro-budget short documentary about Rita…
Dr. Wolf, a woman with short, curly brown hair, black glasses and a yellow face mask.
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EDSed Episode 4: Dr. Jacqueline Wolf on GI symptoms & Endometriosis

EDSed is our new series of full-length interviews with international EDS experts. These educational interview series with journalistic (news) quality is complementary to our webinar recordings and another free resource we provide for our…
Jacques Courseault, a black man with black hair and black glasses. He wears a blue shirt and a green bow and lifts up the arm of a black woman with a tattoo on her arm in an examination room.
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Folate-dependent Hypermobility: Discussing Tulane’s Recent Paper With Their Scientists

A recent publication by researchers at Tulane University hypothesizes MTHFR mutations lead to folate deficiency, resulting in hypermobility. The researchers also propose these mutations may cause or contribute to a form of hypermobile EDS.…
  • Disabled Journalist

    Chronic illness & disability / medicine & science journalism

  • Filmmaking

    Accessible documentary films about people living with chronic illnesses & disabilities.

  • Author

    Memoirs and medical books on EDS & other chronic illnesses.