It's almost September and time for National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. I wanted to share with you information about several aspects of this year's celebration and encourage you all to get involved.
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is September 13-19, 2010 and so far thousands of participants are showing their support through the social network, Facebook, the second largest site on the internet according to Alexa.com.
Lisa Copen, founder of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, which she established in 2002, says, “In 2009 our nonprofit organization included Facebook for the first time in our awareness campaign and the results had a significant impact we could not have imagined.”
Copen explains that when people who live with chronic invisible illness join an Invisible Illness Week group, a “Cause” or “Like” a page, it is a non-intrusive way of saying, “This is something that personally affects my life and that I care about.”
According to Copen, before social media, many people expressed that it was uncomfortable to email their friends or family illness-awareness related materials without creating feelings of being pushy or critical of their responses to illness. Now, by joining a cause on Facebook and inviting friends to join, it is much simpler to create awareness about daily life with invisible chronic pain.
It is particularly enlightening when someone with an illness invites friends to join the Invisible Illness Week Cause, and discovers how many friends are also suffering silently from conditions such as chronic migraines or fibromyalgia. “Sometimes those of us with illness forget that we may have loved ones who are also silently coping with invisible chronic conditions,” says Copen.
Approximately 7000 thousand people are a part of Invisible Illness Week’s presence on Facebook and Copen says she would love to see this number continue to grow. “We have some amazing articles, guest bloggers, and seminars that will help people know they are not alone in their pain and how to deal with the daily part of it even better.”
With nearly 1 in 2 Americans coping with a chronic condition, they are not alone, but the invisibility factor can make it feel that way.
To join one of Invisible Illness Week’s Facebook groups, causes or more see http://InvisibleIllnessOnFacebook.com.
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National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
Did you see the post-it note at the top of this post? Guess what? Leaving little notes of encouragement in places were other people with chronic illness can find them is our assignment from Lisa this year. Watch her video here:
CALLING ALL BLOGGERS
Please head over to Bloggers Unite and sign up to blog for Invisible Illness Week. Lisa has posted some great ideas for blog posts and encourages us all to set Goggle on fire September 13 with the keywords "invisible illness week."