This major public awareness campaign, held every year in September, is sponsored by HopeKeepers Magazine, a consumer publication that offers spiritual encouragement for those who live with chronic illness or pain. The theme of this year’s campaign is “My Illness is Invisible But My Hope Shines Through.” The objective is for individuals and organizations to spread the word about the impact of living with a chronic illness that is not visually apparent – while also communicating a message of hope. Target audiences include our churches and other groups, healthcare professionals, the general public, and government officials. The campaign Web site, at www.mychronicillness.com/invisibleillness/home.htm, offers copy and paste messages you can send to friends and e-mail groups, and other Web-based outreach suggestions. Also available are downloadable flyers, brochures, small posters and “post cards” that you can print out for distribution to church groups, families, and other contacts.
Additionally, the campaign site will run 20 chat seminars the week of September 11-17. Just a few of the listed topics will be:
n “Cereal for Dinner (Living with Fatigue as a Mom)”
n “Stigma Challenges of Living with Chronic Illness”
n “Why effective listening – by doctors, family, friends, employers, and patients themselves – has a huge impact on how well the person with the illness and their families come to terms with chronic illness”
n “Should I spend money on this? Helpful principles for evaluating that new remedy you’ve been hearing about (by a doctor)”