If you or someone you care about has a chronic illness, odds are that the majority of time you may feel as though your symptoms are invisible to most people. Invisible Illness Awareness Week begins today, September 9 through September 15, 2013, as a chance to validate those with invisible symptoms, as well as build awareness.
Invisible illness is not a choice, however those who live with a chronic illness can make choices that impact their lives. This is the message of the 2013 Invisible Illness Awareness Week campaign, "I choose to . . ."
Listeners can log on to http://InvisibleIllnessConference.com to listen to presentations by experts who work with those who are chronically ill, or who live with illness themselves. The seminars will also be available at itunes.com this fall.
Lisa Copen began Rest Ministries in 1996 following a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 24. "I immediately began feeling isolated from most people my age. I believed that by connecting with others who were chronically ill, and who had Christ at the center of their lives, we would all be encouraged. I tried some support groups, but I needed a place where I could talk about my faith."
Hard beds, traveling expenses, long walks to conference rooms, attendees going overboard on their perfume, and extreme fatigue are predictably part of your average conference. And for the chronically ill these inconveniences can make attending an actual conference impossible. National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week celebrates its tenth year of having a virtual conference and is excited to offer video seminars this year, September 10-14, 2012.
When it comes to bloggers with passion, "e-patient bloggers" who share about their illness journeys, have changed how people find encouragement for living with their illness. A recent study found that 41% of e-patients have read someone else's commentary or experience about health or medical issues on an online news group, website or blog, and 38% say it changed the way they cope with a chronic condition or manage pain.*
Nearly 1 in 2 people live with an invisible chronic illness and many are coming together this week to increase awareness that they do not feel as well as they may look.
Virtual conference, September 12-17, offers opportunity for those with illness to "attend" without traveling, expenses, or mobility issues.
Rest Ministries, the largest Christian organization that specifically serves the chronically ill, is the sponsor of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, September 13-19, 2010.
20 Experts share their best tips about living with a chronic illness, from coping with illness and relationship tips to travel and homeschooling.