We are a team of individuals who, combined, have over twenty-five years experience in cortisol pumping. We each came to work on this project with a unique set of skills.
Our goal is to provide doctors and patients with one convenient resource to find all of the information they will need in order to start using a cortisol pump. It is our hope that this information empowers patients to have a successful pumping experience and with that, an increased quality of life.
We have spent years reading through medical research and countless hours collecting articles so you won’t have to. Our hope is that this will give you the facts about cortisol pumping, as well as practical tips for living with a cortisol pump.
We hope you find this information useful.
Meet the Team
Founder: Michelle Barker
Michelle Barker is a blogger and patient advocate committed to helping others thrive while living with chronic illness. She began using the cortisol pump in 2016 when it became apparent that her adrenal insufficiency could not be managed by oral steroids. Michelle realized that information about the cortisol pump was difficult to find, and there were many obstacles to overcome in order to utilize this treatment method. It should not be this hard to survive.
The cortisol pump was so effective at managing her adrenal insufficiency that she wanted to help educate others about this treatment method. Cortisol pump advocacy became her passion. She has created both local and online support groups for patients with adrenal insufficiency and for those using or considering the cortisol pump. It was through these support groups that she realized there was a dire need for an easily accessible informational reference for the cortisol pump.
People needed a reliable place to find facts, and so an idea was born. It took months of compiling and pouring over research from morning to night, then even more long hours writing in order transform this research into content patients could easily read. Thanks to the advice of her team, and Amber Nicole’s ambition, thecortisolpump.com came to life.
Michelle’s blog, Cortisol Musings, chronicles her life with MEN2a and her personal journey with the cortisol pump. When not helping rare disease patients, Michelle enjoys reading, yoga, and spending time with her family
Graphic Designer: Kristina Norville
Kristina Norville studied art at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, and Thomas Nelson Community College in Newport Newport, Virginia. She earned an Associates of Arts degree in communication arts from Thomas Nelson Community College and a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a minor in childhood studies from Christopher Newport University.
She is an expert graphic designer and photographer. She enjoys teaching students to have a love for all types of art: painting, drawing, color theory, masters, 2-dimensional design, 3-dimensional design, graphic design, photography, wood crafts, and mixed media.
Kristina has had extensive marketing experience as marketing coordinator for Canon Virginia, Inc. and for Canon USA. She was a senior graphic designer for NBC and FOX media networks. She also served as a manager for Office Depot Business Solutions Divisions, which allowed her to help coordinate marketing development for companies such as, Johnson & Johnson and Boeing.
Kristina is a native to Hampton Roads and resides in Smithfield, Virginia. She is a military spouse, whose husband has been active duty military for twenty four years. She has an eleven year old son. In her spare time she enjoys hiking with her family and her dog, bike riding, boating, paddle boarding, beach adventures, reading, and DIY home projects.
Kristina has a positive outlook on living with adrenal insufficiency since diagnosed in 2012. She helps encourage newly diagnosed patients to understand the complexity of the disease, as well as how to adapt to a new normal in a positive way. She passionately advocates for the cortisol pump as a means for treatment for patients that do not have good outcomes with standardized treatments. She received her cortisol pump in 2019.
Website Designer: Amber Nicole
Amber officially launched Clearly Alive Art in 2012 as her primary avenue for sharing her adventures of living with Adrenal Insufficiency, a diagnosis she officially received in 2005. In 2013, she went public with her extreme adverse reaction to a specific brand of generic hydrocortisone. Since its initial publishing, her recount of the poisoning from the inactive ingredient, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, has allowed hundreds of others to avoid the same fate. In 2014, she was able to successfully launch her Zazzle Storefront challenging people to “Ask Me About Life Saving Steroids.” This was the same year she gained access to her cortisol pump.
In 2015, her Theoretical Steroid Curve Plotter went live, with a second release for the cortisol pump in 2016. The Curve Plotter has been recognized world wide as a useful tool empowering patients to improve their quality of life. It took over three years to develop, and she is incredibly humbled at the number of people it has helped.
Over the years, she has been able to share her mission to be Clearly Alive through a variety of avenues and platforms. These include being an invited guest speaker and a guest writer. When Michelle approached Amber Nicole about her dream of creating the ultimate cortisol pump reference, she emphatically jumped on board!
Amber Nicole believes that we should do more than just live. We should all strive to be Clearly Alive.
Several other individuals contributed to the creation of this resource. However, they would prefer to remain anonymous. We are incredibly thankful for their help in the creation of this reference.