The following is a part 1 in a series of guest posts from Evan Yates, TEDMED Front Line Scholarship Winner.

Live from TEDMED2016, Day 1:

Wow. That’s all I can say. I knew being invited to attend something as prestigious and stimulating as TEDMED (@TEDMED) would be special, but I don’t think much could have prepared me for the energy, excitement, or innovation. Day one was dedicated to fighting against those invisible enemies.

Here’s a run down from Day 1 of some select talks:

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. (@MonaHannaA) Never heard of her? She lives, works, and bleeds for Flint, MI. What do you get when you cross legislation that doesn’t care if toxic levels of lead are in drinking water and a whistle-blower pediatrician? You get one pissed off pediatrician who will spend her life fighting for the inalienable, unassailable rights of children.

Emi Mahmoud. Darfur refugee, Yale graduate, slam poetry champion. Everything we take for granted in this country, everything we see as normal, she had to fight for. What stuck with me outside of the chills? She was positive throughout it all- she has faced unthinkable events and someone left with the same radiant smile.

While there were many other chats, I’ll leave with (in my opinion), the most powerful. Sue Klebold is the activist mother of one of the two Columbine shooters. She gave an inspiring, gut wrenching, compassion stirring presentation about her experiences, both intrinsically and extrinsically, in mental health. One of her quotes that I think should be heard loudly was, ‘if love was enough to stop suicide, it would hardly ever happen.’

Follow me on twitter @biroyatesgroup for life updates from talks and other stimulating events going on this week at TEDMED2016.