It’s that time! We’ve announced our theme for National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week 2011: “Deep Breath, Start Fresh.”
Founder Lisa Copen shares how to get involved in this video. If you are unable to view the video in an email or RSS feed see it here: About 2011 Invisible Illness Awareness Week.
After much thought and prayer, Lisa has decided to not have a virtual conference this year. “To be honest, the conference takes a lot of time, my energy and money. It is an exhausting 3 months of preparation, follow through, and recovery for me,” Lisa shares. “At this time, I’d love to focus more on better meeting the needs of those here at Rest Ministries, such as the Summer Study, finishing up some Bible studies, and spending some time with my family.”
Lisa’s son is 8 years old and likely won’t be that interested in hanging out with his mom all summer for many more years. Invisible Illness Week, September 12-18th also falls between her husband’s birthday (9/11) and her own (9/19). “Over the years it’s become a time of sacrifice of my whole family, including my mom who flies down from Oregon to help me with my son and more,” says Lisa. “Right now, I am trying to focus on improving my own health, cutting back the prednisone, losing weight to decrease other health issues, and getting my rheumatoid arthritis under control.”
Lisa began seeing a new rheumatologist in March 2011, after experiencing the most painful 3 months January – March of this year, out of her 18 years with rheumatoid arthritis. “Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it got much worse,” says Lisa. “It’s not about puffy cheeks anymore, it’s about being here for my son in ten years.”
But we are still having Invisible Illness Week! There will be tons of articles and guest bloggers, loads of great informative posts and tweets to share with friends, and ways to help the world understand that invisible illness is a very serious and isolating experience. The Invisible Illness Week web site will also highlight programs from the conferences for the past couple of years.
Watch the Rest Ministries sister site at http://invisibleillnessweek.com in coming weeks for updates and also sign up to get the updates so you are on top of all the happenings!