Podcast Release Date: June 15, 2023
In honor of Apert Syndrome Awareness Month in June, host Dina Zuckerberg sits down with Morgan McGahan, Sara Pollak, and Emily Krebs – three best friends who were all born with Apert Syndrome. They will discuss their journeys, shared experiences, lifelong friendships, and overcoming the challenges associated with a craniofacial difference to achieve their goals. Sara discusses how she co-founded Cowabunga Surf Retreat, a retreat experience for kids to feel the power of the ocean – and the power in themselves – while surfing. Morgan and Emily share how that experience impacted them in positive ways. The unique friendship of these three women demonstrate the healing power in the shared experience and in knowing you are not alone.
Read about our guests below the video:
Morgan McGahan is a college student at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Morgan is studying Special Education with a concentration in Language Arts. She has a passion to inspire people and be an advocate for the craniofacial community. Born with Apert Syndrome she has undergone many surgeries, which makes her look different. When Morgan is not studying she loves to be outdoors, playing with her dog Hana, and wants to hopefully become an influencer one day.
Sara Pollak earned her MBA with a concentration in marketing and communications from Endicott College in 2022. Sara is a Recruiting Specialist for the Clinical Services Group at Barton Associates. Sara loves to connect with people and has the drive to create positive experiences for those whose lives she touches. Sara is no stranger to the medical profession, she has Apert Syndrome and has had 31 major surgeries before the age of 20. As a teen, Sara struggled to overcome others’ negative perception of her due to her physical differences in face, hands, and feet. Her perception of herself and the world changed in 2015 when she co-founded Cowabunga Surf Retreat, a retreat experience for kids to feel the power of the ocean, and the power in themselves while surfing, an accomplishment not many dare to pursue. While Cowabunga took a pause as Sara went to college, she would love to get it back in motion in the future! Sara lives in Boston, and when she’s not working, she enjoys experiencing city life, is an avid fan of the Red Sox and Celtics and of course spends time with her boyfriend, family, and friends.
Emily Krebs was born with Apert Syndrome. She has had to face many different challenges growing up. One of those challenges includes getting stared at by kids especially little kids who don’t really understand why people look different than others. Emily has had over 20 surgeries starting at 6 months old. She currently works as a receptionist at an agency that provides services for adults and children with learning and developmental disabilities. She really enjoys the work she does getting to help people each and every day. When she is not working she likes hanging out with friends and family and going for walks when it is nice out. She hopes to inspire more people with how far she has come and what she has gone through to get to where she is now.