Lynda P.S. Covello, LL.B., LL.M.
Author, Motivational Speaker,
T1D Patient Opinion Leader,
Professional Vocalist, International Lawyer and Business Consultant
Lynda was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1973, and has lived successfully with the condition for more than 40 years, through many career and life challenges, including two successful high-risk pregnancies and a high-powered international legal and business career. Although close friends and family knew that she lives with T1D, Lynda managed this information with the rest of the world on a strict ‘need-to-know’ basis. Most of the people she worked and socialized with did not know. Having faced the debilitating effects of fear and discrimination on the part of others in the early years of living with her condition, she made a conscious decision to keep it to herself until she was sure people could be trusted. Even those who knew she lived with T1D were not privy to her thoughts and feelings on the subject. Now she has begun to speak, write and sing publicly about her experiences with the hope that by doing so, she will empower others to survive and thrive on the never-ending T1D journey, as well as raise public and professional awareness of the unique challenges encountered by those living with Type 1, which is typically misunderstood and often confused or conflated with another type of diabetes. Her one-woman cabaret on the subject: Not Dead Yet: A Cabaret with T1 Diabetes, is set to premier in late 2014.
The catalyst for Lynda’s change of heart occurred during a full-day Insight Session of the T1 Diabetes Think Tank Network, a not-for-profit collaboration of T1D healthcare providers and patient opinion leaders(www.t1thinktank.com). Think Tank uses innovative methods, such as dramatic and creative arts, improv comedy and storytelling to transform lives by improving communication and understanding between people living with T1D and their healthcare professionals. Think Tank has shown that by putting patients on an equal footing with healthcare professionals in a safe, nonjudgmental environment, and breaking down barriers to true and meaningful communication, the standard of care is elevated and patient self-management is empowered. Since joining the Think Tank Network in 2013 (she now sits on the Board of Directors), Lynda has become a passionate patient activist, seeking to empower the patient voice by sharing her stories about living with T1D, through narrative writing, motivational speaking and song.
‘My experience with Think Tank made me realize that by sharing my stories I could help other people, both patients and healthcare professionals’ says Lynda. ‘That had never occurred to me. For many years, I was the only person I knew with Type 1 Diabetes, and I guess I internalized that to a very deep extent, that feeling of isolation, and never really thought I should be sharing my stories.’
In addition to being a devoted patient activist, Lynda is a respected business leader, lawyer and senior executive in the biotechnology and IT fields. A recognized expert in intellectual property licensing worldwide, she is a multi-lingual strategist, team-builder, expert negotiator and creative problem-solver with broad and deep experience of the business of innovation. Lynda is C.E.O. of LPC Consulting International, providing international IP business strategy support, and a co-founder of the law firm Ross Mongeon Covello & Co., providing legal services for domestic and international IP transactions.
Lynda also sits on the Board of Directors of Tapestry Opera, an innovative arts company. Her non-fiction work has been published in The Globe and Mail, as well as on the websites: www.patientcommando.com, and www.t1thinktank.com. Her legal writing has been published by Carswell and Osgoode Hall Law School Press. Her short article about her grandfather, Giovanni’s Song, was published in the anthology “In Their Footsteps” Reflections on the Legacy of Italian Immigrants to Thunder Bay, and won the Lakehead University Italian Studies Memoir Award. Her novel Connections, a sci-fi thriller of patient activism, is available in ebook format on www.amazon.com.
She is also the lead vocalist in two bands: the Deep Dark Secrets Jazz ‘n’ Blues Band (her album, Forever Torch, is available on iTunes and CDBaby), and the Band of Fools, a retro-rock band. Lynda lives in Toronto with her husband Jim Fabro and their Siberian Husky, Arthur. The couple has two grown sons, Anthony and Nicholas. In her leisure time, she enjoys hiking, alpine skiing, swimming, and dancing with her horse, Palhacio.
‘I tend to have a lot of things going on,’ she says, ‘but I never thought I would live this long and enjoy good health, so I’ve tried to do everything I could before I ran out of time. Turns out I have more than I thought I would.’