Peer Advisory Bios
Becca Davis is an undergraduate at UMass Lowell majoring in exercise physiology. She has experienced chronic pain in her head, back, and abdomen since the age of seven. The Comfort Ability program is where Becca first learned the cognitive behavioral skills that ultimately played a big part in helping her gain independence and return to her active lifestyle. Becca is a huge hockey fan and cheers for the Boston Bruins and the UMass Lowell Riverhawks. When she’s not following one of her teams, Becca enjoys photography, reading, and managing her fantasy football team.
Fiona Chace-Donahue is a student at Mount Holyoke College where she is studying neuroscience. After graduating, she plans on pursing a M.D./ Ph.D. in order to become a pediatric neurologist specializing in traumatic brain injury. Fiona attended the Comfort Ability program over six years ago. She joined The Comfort Ability Advisory Board because she wants to support others and share what she’s learned about how to manage chronic(and often invisible) pain so that individuals with chronic pain do not feel alone. In her free time, Fiona likes to paddleboard, knit, and go to the beach.
Isabella Serpe is studying psychology at Suffolk University. After graduating, Isabella would like to get a master’s degree in psychology and work in a pediatric clinical setting. She joined The Comfort Ability Advisory Board because she wants to make the cognitive behavioral resources that helped her more available to patients with chronic pain. In her free time, Isabella enjoys traveling and exploring new places, as well as playing the piano and snowboarding.
Justina Marianayagam is a Canadian medical student. Her experience with The Comfort Ability started at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario where she was the guest speaker at the program workshop for four years on a monthly basis. Originally from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Justina has had experience navigating the healthcare system in both a rural and urban context. She was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) at the age of sixteen. Justina joined The Comfort Ability advisory board because she is passionate about advocacy. In addition to her work with The Comfort Ability she helped develop the first patient-to-patient chronic pain support group in Canada and is currently working on a transitional strategy for pediatric chronic pain patients moving into adult care. Through her advisory work she hopes to let pediatric patients know that they can learn to manage their pain and return to their passions.
Polly Corbett is a senior at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, where she is studying psychology and chemistry. After graduating from college, Polly would like to pursue a nursing degree with a focus on pediatric psychiatry. She joined The Comfort Ability Advisory Board with the goal of enhancing and sharing the skills and strategies she found to be helpful during her journey with chronic pain. Polly plays on a collegiate rugby team and also enjoys hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities with friends.
Sophia Davidson is currently in the 9th grade at the Winsor School in Boston. In the summer of 2016, she fractured her leg and developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). As a part of her recovery, she spent time in a multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation program, which included physical therapy and cognitive- behavioral therapy. Sophia is excited to join the Peer Advisory Board in order to share her story and coping techniques with the hope of helping other teens with chronic pain. In the future, Sophia aspires to become a pediatric plastic surgeon. In her free time, she enjoys writing and volunteering in schools.
Katie Michaels is majoring in psychology at Skidmore College. After graduation, she would like to continue her studies in nursing school and specialize as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She has had chronic back and leg pain since she was 10 years old and went to a multidisciplinary pain treatment program which focused on physical therapy, occupational therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. She joined the Peer Advisory Board because she feels it is important to share the strategies and skills that she learned in order to continue living an active life. In her free time, Katie enjoys riding horses, volunteering and spending time with her friends.