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September 11-17: Ninety-six Percent Of Illness Is Invisible, Reports National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week Sponsors

Posted Nov 03 2008 8:56pm

Join me in spreading the word about Invisible Illness Week!

I will be posting a few materials if you are interested in helping us with this grassroots effort to increase the awareness that many suffer silently, looking great, but not feeling so hot.

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PRESS RELEASE
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September 11-17: Ninety-six Percent Of Illness Is Invisible, Reports National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week Sponsors

One in two people look good but feel terrible.

For Immediate Release

SAN DIEGO/EWORLDWIRE/Sep 5, 2006 --- As National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week 2006 kicks off, organizers are working to publicize staggering statistics: nearly one in two Americans has a chronic condition, and 96 percent of them live with an illness that is invisible. These people do no use a cane or any assistive device and may look perfectly healthy. Sixty percent are between the ages of 18 and 64.

The theme "My Illness Is Invisible But My Hope Shines Through" is a major public awareness campaign sponsored by HopeKeepers Magazine, a consumer magazine that offers spiritual encouragement for those who live with chronic illness or pain.

Paul J. Donoghue and Mary Siegel are co-sponsors of the week and authors of "Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired: Living With Invisible Chronic Illness." Siegel says, "Invisible chronic illnesses (ICI) have symptoms that are difficult to see and impossible to measure such as pain and fatigue. So those with ICI frequently encounter not compassion and support but impatience and skepticism from physicians and loved ones."

"Living with an illness that is invisible to those around us can often have a more devastating affect on our emotional health than the physical pain," explains Lisa Copen, 37, editor of HopeKeepers Magazine who lives with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. "Each day we must choose to have hope, despite how medications and alternative treatments may help or hinder us."

Copen is the author of a book, "Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend." "Part of our campaign is to encourage people to care enough to be informed," says Copen. "Just because someone isn't using a wheelchair doesn"t mean that she doesn't have a disability. Friends and family of those with chronic illness care a great deal about what their loved ones are going through, but oftentimes the invisibility of the illness sets up an environment for misunderstandings and even doubt about the validity of the illness. We hope to increase awareness of how many people look great but are hurting deeply."

Outreach includes various events: the distribution of free literature such as a 5.5 x 8.5 card with multiple ways to encourage a chronically ill friend. Other resources include "You Look So Good: A Guide to Understanding and Encouraging People With Chronic, Debilitating Illness and Pain."

Fifteen online seminars will be held during the week featuring chronic illness coaches, authors, nutritionists and other professionals. Promotional items like t-shirts, bumper stickers and bracelets are available.

For a complete list of events and resources, visit http://www.invisibleillness.com or call 888-751-7378.

"The feeling of knowing that one's illness and pain is acknowledged can have a great impact on how a person copes with living with illness," says Copen.

Sources:
http://www.mychronicillness.com/invisibleillness/factsheet.htm

   HTML: http://newsroom.eworldwire.com/releases/none
   PDF: http://newsroom.eworldwire.com/pdf/none.pdf
   ONLINE NEWSROOM: http://newsroom.eworldwire.com/310186.htm
   NEWSROOM RSS FEED: http://newsroom.eworldwire.com/xml/newsrooms/310186.xml
   LOGO: http://newsroom.eworldwire.com/310186.htm

CONTACT:
Lisa Copen
Rest Ministries, Inc./ HopeKeepers Magazine
PO Box 502928
San Diego, CA 92150
PHONE. 858-486-4685
FAX. 800-933-1078
EMAIL: rest@restministries.org
http://www.invisibleillness.com

SOURCE: HopeKeepers Magazine/Rest MinistrieS

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