Courtney G. Smith is the former spokesperson for the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA). As an AARDA spokesperson, Courtney raised the awareness of autoimmune diseases through screenings and discussions of her award-winning documentary Beauty Does Lie: The Untold Stories of Autoimmune Diseases.
Courtney still pinches herself to make sure that doing her very first TEDx Talk during the pandemic is real. It was such an amazing experience for Courtney to be a part of TEDxPrincetonWomen: Rewriting the Future. Courtney’s Talk titled Living My Truth: My 5 Truths For Improving My Life explores the 5 gems that Courtney lives by to make sure she stays sane, happy, and healthy.
Courtney was inspired to produce Beauty Does Lie after being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Myasthenia Gravis in 2001 at the age of 22.
"AARDA is the only national nonprofit health agency dedicated to bringing a national focus to autoimmunity, the major cause of serious chronic diseases. Approximately 50 million Americans, 20 percent of the population or one in five people, suffer from autoimmune diseases. Women are more likely than men to be affected; some estimates say 75 percent of those affected-some 30 million people-are women. Still, with these statistics, autoimmunity is rarely discussed as a women's health issue." - AARDA.org