Life Rebalanced Chronicles

Documenting the Vestibular Experience

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Meet the Cast

Season 1 and 2

Nicolle Cure Headshot

Nicolle Cure

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops

Nicolle is a Colombian-American artist based in Miami, Florida. When Nicolle was diagnosed with Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops, she decided to use her art to highlight the experience of people with this invisible illness.

Her signature series, The Colors of Sound, is a collection of fluid abstract paintings that explore the relationship between sound and life – inspired by her Sudden Unilateral Hearing Loss (SSHL) experience. In 2020, she released the continuation of this collection with a new body of work titled Supernova. Through her paintings, Nicolle illustrates her experience with sound and color, in contrast with how sound occurs in cosmic elements like Pulsars and Supernovas.

Nicolle has partnered with the Hearing Health Foundation and Vestibular Disorders Organization (VeDA) for several years, where she donates her time and art to benefit their fundraising initiatives. As a result of her work raising awareness about hearing loss and invisible disabilities, she was awarded the Leadership Scholarship by Americans for the Arts in 2018.

Nicolle's art has been showcased at Art Basel Miami, Beaux Arts Festival, and other art fairs in South Korea, China, and Colombia. She has been featured in several magazines, blogs, and other publications focused on fine art and hearing health. In 2016, several of her paintings were included in the "Imagen y Palabra," an art book highlighting contemporary Latin American artists based in the United States.

Her work is available at West Elm, Showfields, PxP Contemporary, and other galleries and platforms.

Nicolle earned a Bachelor's Degree in Advertising from the University of Florida and an Associate in Arts in Computer Arts Animation. She also holds academic certificates from the Sotheby's Institute of Art.

IG: @nicollecure_art


Johan "The Chappiness Guy" Headshot

Johan "The Chappiness Guy"

Vestibular Migraine


Johan, also known as “The Chappiness Guy,” is a extroverted, loving , family guy. When Johan turned 33 years old his world was turned upside down by a diagnosis of Vestibular Migraines and Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD). Before his illness, Johan felt like he was on top of the world. He had a successful career, had just bought a house, and was planning a wedding with the love of his life. Then,  on April 18th, 2019 woke up and the world was spinning. His symptoms included head pressure, ear fullness, neck pain, dizziness, loss of balance, and visual disturbances such as light sensitivity and inability to focus. After many doctor appointments with specialists and numerous tests, he received a diagnosis. Now, almost two years later, Johan is learning to thrive and live his life thanks to some much needed adjustments, such as diet changes, exercise, vestibular rehabilitation therapy , supplements and medication. Johan started a YouTube channel (Find your Chappiness) and hosts a show called, Vestibular TALKS, which has over 50 episodes with a variety of guests who have been kind and brave enough to open up and share their journeys, raise awareness, and inspire others living with chronic illnesses such as Meniere’s Disease, Vestibular Migraine, Mal de Debarquement (MdDS), PPPD, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), chronic migraine, and more.

Johan is a VeDA ambassador and he hopes to continue raising awareness and provide a positive outlet for others to share their journeys and connect with a wonderful community of Vestibular Warriors.

Lynn Johnson Headshot

Lynn Johnson

Bilateral Vestibular Hypofunction

Autoimmune Inner Ear Disorder

Lynn's life became unbalanced Thanksgiving, 2015. She had been feeling off, and out of the blue woke up with imbalance and loud tinnitus (ringing) in her right ear. As days past, her symptoms continued to get worse. Five months and four doctors later, she was diagnosed with Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED) and Bilateral Vestibular Hypofunction. Her symptoms include bilateral hearing loss, oscillopsia (jumping vision), and imbalance. Lynn says that if she had been given the correct diagnosis in the beginning, they might have been able to save her hearing. "This disease has robbed me of my hearing, my career as high school biology teacher, my ability to walk, to drive, and so many things," says Lynn. "But I refuse to let it rob me of my joy and quality of life." Lynn is a VeDA Ambassador because she is passionate about spreading awareness, educating, and advocating on behalf of patients like herself so that misdiagnosis can be prevented. She currently helps facilitate the Autoimmune Inner-Ear Disorder Facebook Group.

Rishi Bhosale Headshot

Rishi Bhosale

Vestibular Neuritis


Rishi immigrated from India six years ago to pursue his Masters degree. Living in New York, he currently works for American Express as a Senior Product Manager. He likes to live an active lifestyle and loves meeting new people. "Making new friends is my second nature," says Rishi. "I am super excited about getting on this journey. My motto is, life should be large, not long."

In March, 2020 Rishi was sick with the flu, when he was suddenly struck with a vertigo attack. After that, Rishi's life started spiraling downhill. "Lights bothered me and I had constant imbalance, complimented by anxiety and panic disorder," says Rishi. After months of doctor visits, Rishi was diagnosed with Vestibular Neuritis with hypofunction in his right ear. Now, after months of vestibular rehabilitation therapy and yoga, Rishi is on the road to recovery. "I do have off days but I am in a much better space," he says. "I am here for my fellow vestibular sufferers to guide them and provide tips and tricks to manage these symptoms, since there is no guidebook for how to life with a vestibular disorder."

Instagram Personal account : @Riishii.b

Instagram Vestibular account : @vestibularbalanced

Sandy Brunner Headshot

Sandy Brunner

Mal de Debarquement

Vestibular Migraine

Sandy is the co-founder of Solutions for a Better Day, a speech-language pathologist, and a writer. Her voyage with Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) and Vestibular Migraine started in 2018, when she was on a trip to Europe. After a few airplane, car, and boat rides, her whole world was constantly in motion. She felt and saw rocking, bobbing, and swaying, as if she was on a boat, even when she was stationary. She's been trying to get her land legs back ever since! Since then, her coping strategies and skills have improved, and so have her symptoms– very, very slowly. "I’m hopeful I’ll reach remission someday," says Sandy, "but until then I’m trying to ride the waves of MdDS and live my best boat life despite the dizziness!" Sandy decided to become a VeDA Ambassador to raise awareness and help other people live life to the fullest with MdDS. She chronicals her struggles and triumphs on Instagram and in her blog.

Steve Schwier Headshot

Steve Schwier

Meniere's Disease


In the month of September, 2020, Steve Schwier rode an e-bike 1,400 miles from Denver, Colorado to Columbus, Ohio to bring awareness to Meniere’s Disease. His difficult and grueling ride is chronicled in his memoir, “On the Vertigo: One Sick Man’s Journey to Make a Difference,” which is now available for purchase on Amazon.

Diagnosed in 2013, Steve had been able to do little in that time but stay on his couch and manage his symptoms. But one year ago, Schwier decided to get up and ride his bike across America to be the voice of a suffering, silent minority.

Despite the horrendous nature of the disease, Steve tells his story with humor, grace and heartfelt reflection. His ride raised more than $10,000, all of which went to Meniere’s Disease awareness and research.

IG: @onthevertigo

FB: Meniere’s: On the Vertigo

Rupal Rajani Headshot

Rupal Rajani

Vestibulopathy with Visual Preference

Rupal is a broadcast journalist, with over 29 years experience working with the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). Around eleven years ago , Rupal was diagnosed with Vestibulopathy with Visual Preference. Damage to her inner ear has affected her balance significantly. She was able to continue work after an absence of around eight months with the help of the Leicester Balance Clinic and regular vestibular physiotherapy. The condition worsened again in early 2015, which led to her being off work for over two and half years.

Rupal is Head of Communications with Life on the Level, a support group and resource for vestibular patients. She rarely uses this title though, as her warm and winning personality is all she needs for her natural command of any situation. Rupal is also a Life On The Level “Balance Buddy” – helping their members with her own experiences, tips and support.

 Rupal works as a freelancer and writes about how the condition has affected her life and hopes to help others through her blog and YouTube channel.

Alicia Wolf Headshot

Alicia Wolf

Vestibular Migraine

Alicia was diagnosed with Vestibular Migraine in 2017, a diagnosis that changed her life. She went from being a fun-loving, world-traveling 30-year old to never leaving her house. Alicia was newly married when vestibular migraine hit, and she thought her life was over. It took a few months for her to find the right neuro-otologist and the right treatment plan. In the past two years, Alicia says she has become stronger than she could have ever imagined. Through the Heal Your Headache diet, vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT), supplements, and ballet, Alicia is back to living life to it’s fullest. Alicia started The Dizzy Cook, a diet and lifestyle website for those with migraine and vestibular disorders, as well as their family and friends. She share recipes and tips that have helped her get her life back in the hopes that it will help others in some small (or BIG) way!



David Morrill Headshot

David Morrill

Vestibulopathy due to Stroke

David's vestibular disorder was caused by a stroke that knocked out the part of his brain that controls balance. During his recovery he found himself struggling with constant dizziness and balance problems. He didn’t really know where to turn, until he found VeDA. "VeDA helped me understand my disorder with all the information and research they have done through the years," says David. "I knew at that time I had to give back, and focused all my energy on helping to educate the public so more could understand this disorder." The following quote sums up David's entire mission. "If we speak in one voice collectively we can make a difference.” David now facilitates the largest vestibular Facebook support group, which has helped thousands of people find help and hope on their journey toward a life rebalanced.

Season 3

Marissa Aldrete Headshot

Marissa Aldrete

Vestibular Migraine

Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD)

Marissa's journey with vestibular migraine began 11 years ago. Little did she realize that her life would change forever. After a few years of remission and then a return of the illness, she is still on the journey.

Heather Davies Headshot

Heather Davies

Meniere's Disease


Heather began having 1-2 episodes of vertigo yearly in the late 1990s.  In October 2016, she began having pressure and numbness on the right side of her head that radiated down the side of her face, along with tinnitus and body weakness.  As her symptoms intensified, they were joined by vertigo that she experienced daily for nearly 6 months, along with hyperacusis, dizziness and a multitude of other symptoms.  These symptoms forced her to take a leave of absence from her nursing career, step down from teaching fitness classes, withdraw from college and surrender her driver’s license.  While attending numerous doctor’s appointments, trying to figure out what was happening to the body she no longer recognized, she spiraled into a deep depression.  Finally came a diagnosis, then trials of medication until finding what worked for her.  Through meditation, journaling, nutritional changes, vestibular rehab, yoga, learning to love herself again and making her family's dreams her driving force, she continues to learn how to live her best life despite the symptoms. In early 2022, Heather started the Meniere’s Muse podcast for Vestibular Warriors to share their personal journeys, in hopes that the power of connection will give hope and inspiration to others living with vestibular disorders. She believes together we find our strength by empowering each other to move forward in our journeys, by learning to lean on and support one another so no one feels alone.

Yannis Benaniba Headshot

Yannis Benaniba

Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS)


Yannis is a french vestibular patient. After a long-haul flight to Japan in September 2019 he encountered strange sensations that never left him - he eventually was diagnosed with Mal de debarquement syndrome (MDDS). Since there are no or few resources on vestibular disorders "dans la langue de Molière", he decided to create ADeV (the French VeDA).

Rochelle Matheson Headshot

Rochelle Matheson

Vestibular Migraine

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Rochelle first experienced vertigo at the tender age of 10 years old. Vertigo would come and go sporadically throughout her teenage years, getting progressively worse as she entered her early 20's. That is when she finally decided to seek a doctor's help. The first specialist she saw diagnosed her with BPPV, which she managed with Epley Maneuvers every few months to get rid of the violent vertigo attacks. The constant unbalance she felt between attacks continued though. She saw multiple additional specialists who could not figure out what was affecting her balance. Finally, Rochelle saw a vestibular physical therapist who diagnosed her with Vestibular Migraines. He helped educate her about doing a migraine elimination diet, and taught her vestibular therapy exercises that could help strengthen her balance. She progressively got better, and now has very few vertigo attacks. Her healing journey and learning more about vestibular physical therapy inspired her to go into the field herself. Rochelle went back to school and will complete her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2026. She looks forward to helping fellow vestibular patients through her expertise and her ability to relate to their symptoms directly. In addition to being in school, Rochelle is also a mom to 2 beautiful children, Rosetta and Desmond. She and her husband Matt have been married for 11 years and live in beautiful Baltimore city.

Kevin Thomas Headshot

Kevin Thomas

Vestibular Migraine

Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD)

Kevin’s life changed completely in May of 2021, one month before his already planned resignation from his career as Head of Retail and Visitor Services with a cultural institution in San Antonio, Texas. He tendered his resignation after 6 years of nonstop travel, managing a team, writing budgets for two departments, and living with the physical and mental challenges of Ankylosing Spondylitis (Auto-Inflammatory Disease) and Classic migraines w/Aura. “In 6 years I’d never stopped to take a rest or recuperate from my AS diagnosis, which happened my 2nd year in management”.

One evening he stepped out to get some fresh air and noticed lights were too bright, he was seeing double, his ears hurt, and he was dizzy. The next morning upon getting out of bed, Kevin collapsed to the floor. This wasn’t the first time he’d experienced dizziness or vision problems, but the first time the symptoms wouldn’t go away. 

Diagnosed with Vestibular Migraines and PPPD, Kevin is still adjusting to this new life with what he calls “one of Everything” 1 physical disease, 1 neurological disease, and recently diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder, 1 mental disease. He finds strength in sharing experiences with VEDA Ambassadors and others living the vestibular life. 

Instagram: @deeptexasfire210

Emma Rodgers Headshot

Emma Rodgers

Vestibular Migraine


Emma is based in Sheffield in the UK and works as a yoga teacher and massage therapist. Her passion for yoga and holistic therapies started through supporting her own body when she was diagnosed with chronic vestibular migraine in 2018. 

Her journey with a vestibular disorder has been a difficult one and as a result she had to leave her job as a school teacher and change her lifestyle dramatically. She now works hard to manage her symptoms, which is a daily battle, but she is positive about her future and grateful for the unexpected new life path this condition has taken her on. Her goal is to share hope, inspiration and positivity with her story for those struggling with a vestibular disorder or chronic illness. 

She shares her yoga and wellness journey on Instagram: @emmaleighyoga

Joy Mohr Headshot

Joy Mohr

Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS)

Vestibular Migraine

Joy’s nightmare began March 2018 after a week-long family vacation on a cruise ship. After a week of being home, she knew something was wrong when her "land legs" didn't return and was beyond exhausted. She wasn't bouncing back fresh and rejuvenated from a week off the grind in the Caribbean as she had from prior cruises. As a healthcare provider she researched the possibilities and started making appointments with ENTs and neurologists. She had a list of working diagnoses for over one year and saw many specialists before she was able to get definitive answers. She was first diagnosed with MdDS. During the first year of having MdDS, an invisible disorder, life threw her multiple curve balls increasing stress which led to vestibular migraines, tinnitus, and hyperacusis. The MdDS symptoms wax and wane. She now falls somewhere in the MdDS/PPPD loop given the day, weather, and personal activities.

Etta Sundberg Headshot

Etta Sundberg

Vestibular Migraine

Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD)

Etta had been having bouts of spontaneous vertigo for a few years, nothing debilitating. On January 5th she collapsed in her home and was taken to the ER. They said she was fine. A few weeks later she was diagnosed with vestibular migraine and assumed PPPD. She has never been the same since January 5th, she has symptoms 24/7. She believes there is hope and that she will get her life back. Connecting with others in the community has saved her life. Instagram

Paul Burnside Headshot

Paul Burnside

Vestibular Neuritis


Paul holds a masters degree in Theological Studies from The Methodist Theological School and was employed in banking for 30 years. He was forced into early retirement in 2015 when he developed Vestibular Neuritis. He has also been a professional organist and music director for 30+ years and is currently the Senior Organist and Director of Music Ministries at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Marion, OH. Through his experiences living with Vestibular Neuritis, he decided to become a volunteer and advocate with the Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA) and is co-chair of VeDA’s Patient Education Committee. In addition, he arranged and collaborated on recordings and concerts to raise funds and awareness for Delaware, OH area non-profits. Early in 2021 Paul tested positive for Covid. Post-infection he developed debilitating fatigue, chronic malaise, brain-fog and heightened vestibular challenges that temporarily eased after contracting Covid for a second time in late 2021. Paul is able to find comfort and relief from his symptoms and challenges through his music.

Balance is easily taken for granted

However, when the fragile vestibular organs of the inner ear and brain are damaged by illness or injury, anyone can lose the ability to balance. Vestibular dysfunction affects people physically, mentally, and emotionally. Simple tasks, such as shopping and doing laundry, become obstacles to overcome. People afflicted by vestibular impairment are forced to adapt to a "new normal," and in doing so, often discover a life rebalanced.

Life Rebalanced Chronicles documents the stories of nine vestibular warriors. None of them expected to be knocked down by a vestibular disorder. All of them have looked fear, anxiety, and loneliness in the face and said, "You will not define me." Theirs is a message of hope to millions of people who struggle with invisible chronic illness—you are seen, you are heard, you are valued.

Learn more about the cast from other platforms:

About the Director

Kimberly Warner is a filmmaker and photographer based in Portland, Oregon.

In 2015, Kimberly began experiencing unexplained symptoms, including constant rocking, bobbing and swaying, which was first diagnosed as cervicogenic vertigo, followed by vestibular migraine and Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS). Kimberly draws from her experience as a vestibular patient in her storytelling, honoring the lived experience of everyone who suffers from these invisible yet debilitating conditions. "From the outside we look normal," Kimberly says, "inside it's a messy, uncomfortable journey of being alive–with no fix in sight." Check out Kimberly's award-winning docuseries, "Unfixed."

Kimberly Warner

Thanks to our Generous Donors

Kathleen Stross, DPT, CHC, PhD