Nearly 1 in 2 people lives with a chronic illness and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 96% of it is invisible, causing a wide range of emotions for those who are afflicted. National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is featuring three of twenty free online chat workshops at www.invisibleilless.com that specifically address the emotional challenges of living with a chronic condition.
* "Why is Invisible Illness so Hard?" is the opening workshop Monday morning, 9 a.m. pacific time, September 10, led by Lisa Copen, founder of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and Christine Miserandino, founder of http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com. Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries, Inc., http://www.restministries.org, the largest Christian organization that serves the chronically ill. She is also author of various books, including “Why Can’t I Make People Understand?" and "Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend." Christine Miserandino is a patient advocate and the person behind the popular "Spoon Theory" that helps explain the fatigue that often accompanies illness to those who are healthy.
* "Invisible Disabilities: But You LOOK Good!" will be presented by Sherri Connell, co-founder of The Invisible Disabilities Advocate, http://www.myida.org. At the age of 27 Sherri was diagnose with multiple sclerosis and Lyme Disease. Sherri, author of "But You LOOK Good! A Guide to Understanding and Encouraging People Living with Chronic Illness and Pain," began IDA with her husband and reaches out to the chronically ill through various other web site and events.
* "How to Soar Unafraid Through Life Even with Invisible illness" is the topic of Jo Franz, author of "Soar Unafraid." Jo has had MS since 1977, but as learned to live a joyful, abundant life despite numerous other problems. She knows the pain of abandonment, rejection, times of severe MS weakness, and even a cervical spinal cord injury.
Workshops are free chat sessions Sept 10-14, 2007. See dates and times at http://www.invisibleillness.com . Guests will present for about forty minutes and then accept questions from attendees. Transcripts will be available in October. Many guests are donating free items or services.
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week was founded in 2002 by Lisa Copen and is held annually in September and is sponsored by HopeKeepers Magazine and Rest Ministries, Inc. Other sponsors for 2007 are Chronique Couture, http://www.relieve-migraine-headache.com , and DePaul University Chronic Illness Initiative.
The 2007 theme is “Invisible Illness is a roller coaster. Help a friend hold on!” T-shirts, static clings for car windows, silicone bracelets, books, and more awareness items are available at http://www.invisibleilless.com or call 888-751-7378. Sign up for the Invisible Illness Week ezine “Update” and receive the first 40 pages of Copen’s book, ”Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend.”
Lisa Copen, Director
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
858.486.4685 – www.invisibleillness.com