Samantha (Sam) Villella is a public relations and marketing professional with over 10 years of experience who is currently the Director of Member Engagement at The Lake Club in Poland, Ohio. However, over the years she has grown to include the title of “MS activist.” In 2008, Sam’s mom, Kathy (KV), was diagnosed with MS; and in 2014 her sister, Nikki, received her own diagnosis of MS. The affectionately named “KV’s Krew” Walk MS team quickly became one of the most popular teams in Ohio, and Sam attended the Public Policy Conference in March 2015 to share her family’s story. Once in DC, Sam was transformed by the experience, recalling “the stories that you hear from researchers, people living with MS, and Hill staffers who come to help prepare us make it so much easier to understand the policies. By the end of that day, I felt fully prepared to go to the Hill.” A year to the date of her sister’s diagnosis, Sam prepared to share her story on Capitol Hill, making the experience all the more memorable.
“During the Conference I was asked to share my story in front of the 300+ person crowd. Through the next two days people came up to me telling us that they were praying for our family, giving us strength, this made me realize that the MS community is a family working towards one goal.” Sam has continued to engage with her elected officials as a District Activist Leader. Sam shares with fellow activists, “be open minded, speaking to these leaders of our country and remembering key information and facts can be overwhelming. The Public Policy Conference and State Action Day coordinators do a fabulous job of preparing you ahead of your meetings. These experiences have the opportunity to make a real difference in your community, so take a moment to soak it all in.”
Join Sam as an MS activist today.