When: September 23-29, 2002
YOU'RE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE!
CONTACT: Ms. Lisa Copen, founder & director of Rest Ministries
858-486-4685; toll-free 888-751-REST (7378)
web site: http://www.invisibleillness.com
San Diego, CA, U.S.A. (August, 2002) More than 1 in 3 Americans have a chronic condition, and despite what we may assume, 60% of those who live with
daily illness or pain are between the ages of 18 and 64. The majority of chronic illness is invisible, including the 9 million people who are cancer survivors that suffer the side effects of cancer treatment.
September 23-29, 2002 is National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. The theme is "But You Look So Good!" It is a major public awareness campaign sponsored by Rest Ministries, an organization that offers a Christian support environment for those who live with chronic illness or pain.
"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, 33, founder of Rest Ministries who lives with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. "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 literature, "When a Friend Has a Chronic Illness: What to Say, How to Help." Resources include "But You Look So Good: A Guide to Understanding and Encouraging People With Chronic, Debilitating Illness and Pain."
Churches across the U.S. will be participating by having various testimonies shared about living with illness. Special chat guests will be online.
For a complete list of events and resources visit 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. "We hope that by recognizing people with illness rarely feel as good as they look, they will begin to feel better understood, leading them to a more invigorating life!"
For more information, please visit: http://www.invisibleillness.com