Meet Madison Campbell Co-Founder of Leda Health

April 1, 2022
6 mins read
Madison Campbell Co-Founder of Leda Health
Madison Campbell Co-Founder of Leda Health

Madison Campbell is a pioneer and a vocal advocate for sexual assault.

Madison Campbell is a seasoned entrepreneur after she went to college to study space epidemiology.

Before Leda Health, Madison founded a company called “Iyanu,” a software development business based in Lagos.

She is currently working to encourage autonomy and self-actualization of sexual assault survivors through Leda Health by providing and developing resources to help them overcome complex trauma.

Madison was sexually assaulted while she was studying at the University of Edinburgh.

Madison was overwhelmed with various emotions, including fear, guilt, and shame. She immediately bottled up her feelings.

She didn’t share her feelings with her closest friends or family. Instead, she dyed her hair black with boxed dye purchased at a drugstore.

Madison was unable to cope with the situation at the time.

Madison began to investigate why Madison didn’t report her assault in the years that followed.

Madison wondered how often situations like hers were repeated.

She found that 77% (of sexual assault survivors) in the United States don’t report their assaults to authorities.

In the United States, someone is being sexually assaulted approximately every 73 seconds.

Madison was driven by a solution-driven spirit and asked: How can reporting be made more accessible to survivors who cannot access traditional forms of assistance? What gaps can be closed to allow survivors to heal at their own pace and speed?

Madison created Leda Health, formerly MeToo Kits Company, to answer these questions.

Madison started looking into self-DNA collection with the support of Liesel Vaidya (Leda Health’s Chief Technology Officer).

Many sexual assault victims submit their evidence following an assault.

This includes clothing, blankets, and other physical evidence.

Madison and Liesel decided to create a self-use DNA collection tool that would allow survivors to collect time-sensitive DNA material while preserving their autonomy.

Madison and Liesel created many solutions as Leda Health grew. Leda Health offers more than just the kit.

It also provides emergency contraception and STI testing.

There are support groups for survivors of sexual assault and those who have been harmed.

Leda Health has been transformed into a safe refuge for survivors of sexual assault from all walks of society and at all stages in their healing process.

What is the story of Leda Health?

After realizing that many victims of sexual assault in America don’t seek traditional help, Liesel and I came up with the idea to create Leda Health.

We wanted to offer survivors another way to get the help they need.

Survivors are often overwhelmed after being attacked.

They are emotionally distressed and have to deal with complicated and unexpected emotions that are hard to understand.

Within 72 hours, they must decide whether to change their clothes and shower immediately or rush to a hospital to have a rape kit performed.

If possible, they will need to determine how to inform their family and friends.

The initial paralysis can be understood from a trauma-informed perspective. It was something I experienced.

We wanted to ensure that survivors could move forward with justice and healing in the future.

How do you stay productive?

My dog usually barks when I wake up, wanting to play outside or go to the bathroom.

After all that, I take a shower. I use deodorant. This is not unusual for a dog who has been in a relationship for three years.

My chair is the thing that makes my day most productive.

A costly chair, designed to look like a spaceship pilot’s seat but allows me to sit in any position I want while I work on emails and meetings that could have been emailed.

The rest of my day is spent answering emails, attending meetings, and scrolling through Twitter.

​How do you bring ideas to life?​

Leda Health is a place where ideas are brought to life by highly determined people.

It borders on delusion. I reached out to everyone I knew to get ideas.

I also asked for as many introductions to the company as possible, anything I could to make my thoughts more complete (and validate them as viable).

We conduct feedback surveys that allow everyone to provide input about everything we do.

This applies to our kits, websites, models, and company culture.

We value the opinions of our team members, and I’m amazed they haven’t gotten sick of me.

What’s your favorite trend?

The four-day workweek is what I love most. Because I wouldn’t say I liked having other people dictate my schedule, that is why I started my business.

I want to be able to work at my speed. My experience has been that more work doesn’t always translate into more productivity.

Creativity doesn’t occur at all times of the day or week.

It is expected that people will work hard and neglect their interests. We can do so much with one extra day.

In an ideal world, there would be no workweek. It will take some time.

​What habits make you productive?

Leda is genuinely my reason for existence. Like many entrepreneurs, I am addicted to caffeine.

When I get up to go, you will find me with a cup of tea or coffee at my desk.

What’s your advice for the Noob?

To my younger self, I would tell her that every idea is worth exploring.

My experience shows that adults spend a lot of time telling children which ideas are valuable and which ones don’t.

You can be sure that even though one view may not be feasible, it can still lead to new ideas.

People don’t have to be told what they can or can’t do. This is not how innovation works.

This advice has been a constant in my adult life and is what got me to Leda.

What is one thing we can all agree on?

I believe the United States, and the whole world, have been struggling with these same issues for centuries.

Some of these problems can be considered systemic and will continue to exist as long as institutions like those we know to live. I.e., wish them to, institutions can be changed.

We have witnessed community activists work tirelessly over the years to bring about fundamental changes to our institutions.

Now, we are seeing that there is a growing desire to make changes.

It is essential to continue working towards change and not be afraid of it.

​What do you recommend as an entrepreneur?

Always evaluate. Although it hurts my pride to admit it, doubt can either destroy your ideas or increase your resolve to pursue them.

Building Leda Health taught me to accept criticism and use it to reevaluate our products and services constantly.

I can see how they could improve regardless of whether they change.

Although nothing is guaranteed, everything is possible.

What’s your rich strategy?

Surprisingly, my business has grown tremendously by being active on Twitter.

When shared with the right people, memes and funny quips can be very powerful.

Twitter has allowed me to connect with many entrepreneurs and founders, even helping me secure some investments.

Through Twitter, I have received great feedback about our work and have been supported by many people.

I would advise other founders to think outside of the box. You never know where you might end up.

How do you overcome Failure?

There have been many. My biggest failure, which I still feel the consequences of, is being too quick at the beginning of a project. Leda Health was a MeToo Kits Company.

I sent emails to universities across the country to spread the word about our idea – even before it was fully fleshed out.

There was more opposition than I imagined, from universities to districts attorneys to congressional members.

I learned to be cautious and to reevaluate my decisions before executing them.

We could overcome this by listening to the criticism.

Some of the responses we received were valid, despite the high emotions.

We took the time and listened to people’s opinions and incorporated it into future decisions.

​Can you share a business idea?​

A dissolvable honey pod for tea was an idea that I had on a whim.

It’s a Tide pod without all the harmful chemicals.

I love tea and would be happy to drink the perfect amount of honey each time.

What’s your recent best buy? ​

Because my dog had difficulty climbing stairs, I spent $100 to get an x-ray.

He doesn’t seem to have any physical problems, and he doesn’t want to go up the stairs anymore.

We were concerned that he might be suffering from hip dysplasia.

What are your favorite Softwares or Apps?

Slack has made my life easier. It is the best tool for team communication.

It is so efficient, allows us to see who’s working when, and will enable us to communicate well. It is an excellent tool for remote work.

Which book would you recommend?

Ryan Holiday’s Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions from a Media Manipulator is always a good choice.

Wt explains how to communicate through media and the best to use media to achieve your goals.

​What’s your favorite quote?​

When I first read it, it blew me away. When I met one of the Leda Health team members, she said, “Wow, that’s so small!”

This quote stuck with me for a long time. Close behind would be “There’s no single way to heal and recover from trauma.”

Laurie Matthew explains that each survivor picks their path.

TL;DR by Madison Campbell

Madison Campbell founded Leda Health to help survivors of sexual assault heal at their own pace.

Madison helps bring ideas to life through in-depth discussions with mentors and peers.

Madison believes institutions can change.

Madison uses Twitter to communicate with mentors, peers, and investors.


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