Interview of Kaylee Rudkin
Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Experiences hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Experienced mold exposure in the workplace. Storyteller and self-advocate.
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness
- Social MovementsEnvironmental Illness
- Biographical Note:
- Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Experiences hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Experienced mold exposure in the workplace. Storyteller and self-advocate.
- Rudkin, Kaylee
- Persons Present:
- Rudkin and Walker. Kelsey Kim was present during the session and contributed a few questions.
- Place Conducted:
- The interview was conducted using the Zoom video conferencing platform.
- Supporting Documents:
- Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research.
- Interviewer Background and Preparation:
- This interview was conducted by Cheyenne Walker, an undergraduate student researcher, for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women. A member of the 2019-2020 Chemical Entanglements Undergraduate Student Group, Walker majors in Anthropology.
- Processing of Interview:
- The interviewer prepared for the interview by reading a pre-interview questionnaire completed by the narrator.
- 1 hr
- Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
- Series Statement:
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness is a collection of interviews with over seventy individuals living in the U.S. and Canada whose family history, occupation, art practice, or activism have brought them into direct contact with illness experience and disability related to chronic, low-dose exposure to toxicant chemicals. The procurement of this collection (from March 2019 through September 2020) was sponsored by the UCLA Center for the Study of Women under the directorship of Rachel C. Lee, with interviews conducted by six undergraduates, five graduate students, two career staff, and two faculty members at CSW.
Family background--associates smells of smoke and bleach with childhood home--Viewed as “too sensitive” by family members--Doing well in school and overall positive upbringing--Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome diagnosis--Mold exposure at first teaching job and legal battle with administration--Mast cell activation and MCS diagnoses--Transitions to working from home--Adverse reactions to pain medications--Understanding boyfriend yet inherent strains on relationships with family and friends--Adapts lifestyle to chronic illness--Joins in-person and online support groups and forums--Research leads to supportive personal doctors versus ongoing challenges in emergency rooms--Diverse treatments and therapies--Financial and mental impacts of illness--Advocating in the form of storytelling and the importance of stories and personal experiences in affecting societal change--COVID related concerns--Search for answers potentially influenced by gender identification--Mutual appreciation for the interview