Shonna Snyder, PhD

Shonna Snyder is a paraganglioma patient. She earned her Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology from Purdue University, and is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).  She is a co-author of the text Core Teaching Practices for Health Education, and currently works as a Research Scientist for The Mast Cell Disease Society.  Her professional interests and research are in the areas of professional preparation and development of health teachers, school health education, adolescent health issues, and most recently, rare diseases and the patient perspective.

Shonna was diagnosed with a bladder paraganglioma in 2019 after many years of extreme symptoms in which doctors dismissed as such things as stress, fatigue, panic attacks or POTS.  Given her research and health education background, she knew that these diagnoses were not accurate and so she continued to push for further testing.  She visited multiple doctors who did not believe her when she suggested that she had a pheo/para in her bladder and so she struggled to get the CT that she requested.  She finally had a doctor truly listen and order the CT scan she needed in July of 2019 after five trips to the ER in one week.  Her surgery took place in November of 2019 at the NIH.