Wednesday Chat: Why the confusion about looking good?

September 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Announcements, Seminars

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chat wednesday announcement pinterest Wednesday Chat: Why the confusion about looking good?

Wednesday at 11 AM PST/2 PM EST (USA) we chatted at the Invisible Illness Awareness Week Facebook Page . We talked about how illness has a way of confusing simple matters like appearance and should we try to keep looking good–or not? We generally don’t feel happy about the fact that we are wearing sweats all the time, avoiding anything without elastic in the waist, or our hair looking sloppy. And yet, when we hear, “you look great” we can get annoyed or defensive of our pain.

We were joined by Kimberli Freilinger, who is Mrs. Oregon Plus America and she lives with mitochondrial disease. Kimberli is a trained child and family therapist. She currently teaches Psychology courses part time at Western Oregon University. As Mrs. Oregon Plus America and the Oregon Ambassador for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, she advocates for and supports those living with mitochondrial disease. She is a wife to high school sweetheart, Shawn for 20 years. They have two teenage sons. Being an advocate for a terrible disease while “looking fine” is a huge struggle and one we will get to discuss together!

You can still read and comment on our chat! Below are the links to the conversation.

Untitled 12 Wednesday Chat: Why the confusion about looking good?We will be talking about appearance and invisible illness–do we want to look good or not? If you would like to comment below, please tell us in a sentence or two what you would like us to know about you, like where you are from, your age, your illness. —> Read more here

Illness has a way of confusing simple matters like appearance. We generally don’t feel happy about the fact that we are wearing sweats all the time, avoiding anything without elastic in the waist, or our hair looking sloppy. And yet, when we hear, “you look great” we can get annoyed or defensive of our pain. When you have TRIED to look good –and receive a compliment –does it still feel like your pain is being belittled? —> Read more here

So when we hear “you look so good” or “you don’t LOOK sick” we aren’t thinking about our actual appearance at all, right? What we are feeling is that our pain and suffering isn’t seen. What do you usually HEAR? A compliment or skepticism? —> Read more here

Do you feel a little better physically when you try to put on something nice, wear some mascara, wash your hair? Why do you think some people in the illness community think this is “giving in?” Are we not allowed to try to feel good about our self? A lot of people decide to just allow themselves to be a slob and tell everyone else to “deal with it.” But does it help our health to totally let go of looking decent? —> Read more here

As a beauty queen–with a chronic illness–Kimberli has had experience with both pain and primping. Kimberli, do you ever feel like you are betraying your illness community be “looking good” despite what is going on in the inside? Is to look good–despite illness–making it harder for other people who have your disease to be believed? —> Read more here

Have you ever purposely not tried to look good so someone could more easily believe/accept that you were feeling poorly? (a spouse, a friend, the doctor, a lab technician, a boss, etc) —> Read more here

Living with a painful condition can rule our body. By trying to take care of our self are we taking back some of the control? Or wasting time on a body that is going to fall apart anyway? —> Read more here

I’d like to open this up for you to ask questions of Kimberli. —> Read more here

Thanks so much for sharing today. It can help to talk about the emotions behind our reactions and I hope this has been helpful. Don’t forget that you can return here anytime and write additional comments or read comments. You can also do a search in Facebook for #invisibleillnesschat all of our chats this week. We will also link to this at our website. Here is to hoping you can feel as well as you look–or vice versa. Whatever works! —> Read more here

lisa signature1 Wednesday Chat: Why the confusion about looking good?

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Our Special Guests for our Chat Sessions

September 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Announcements

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chat banner pinterest Our Special Guests for our Chat Sessions

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Chats Begin Monday for Invisible Illness Awareness Week

September 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Announcements, Seminars, What's New, What's New, How to Help

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iichat announcement iiwebsite2 Chats Begin Monday for Invisible Illness Awareness Week
So, Invisible Illness Awareness Week is here! Each day we are going to be having a chat session over on our Facebook page. Just go to and we will be posting questions for you to comment on, along with some special guests. Although I am still finalizing some of the days, I can tell you that Christine Miserandino from –the woman behind The Spoon Theory–will be joining us on Monday!

Chats will take place LIVE at 11 AM Pacific/2 PM Eastern time on M, T, W, and Th. On Friday, chat will be held at 10 AM PST/1 PM EST.

If you can’t make it, don’t worry. Since it is all on our Facebook page, you can come back and read it any time. Watch for the large graphics in the posts area that will show you where to find them.

I am looking forward to getting to know you better this week.

lisa signature1 Chats Begin Monday for Invisible Illness Awareness Week

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Why Do We Need People To Understand Our Invisible Illness SO MUCH?

September 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Announcements, Articles, What's New, What's New, How to Help

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invisible illness understand Why Do We Need People To Understand Our Invisible Illness SO MUCH?

Why do we say we have an invisible illness?
Is is because we feel invisible to people?

As I have been planning and promoting Invisible Illness Awareness Week I have been able to see a magnified version of what kinds of posts and tweets people respond to. Even here at the II Week website you will find 20 Things to Say to an Ill Friend or 20 Things Not to Say to an Ill Friend, Can You Be Friends with Someone Who Thinks You are Faking Your Illness, and more. All of which encourage people to share.

There is a lot of conversation about “us”– and “them.” Those who get it–those who don’t. We use terms to describe our communities like “spoonies” and healthy people as “normals.” And we can easily slip into sarcasm as a way of avoiding talking to our loved ones about our true feelings.

Why is there so much emphasis–and desire–

to talk about relationships?

The “hot topics” about invisible illness are often related to those relationships.

We talk about how our relationships affect our illness.
. . . And we talk about how our illness affects our relationships.

We talk about marriage and how communication (or lack of) can make our illness worse.
. . . We talk about how support from a spouse can help us cope so much better.

We talk about bosses and our co-workers. And should we work and why we work and how we work.
. . . And how we feel when we can no longer work.

We share our stories about our young kids, our teenage kids, our adult kids, our troubled kids.
. . . And some of us wonder. . . should I even have kids?

We talk about our mom and our dad and if they believe we really are ill.
. . . And we talk about caring for our mom or our dad, because now. . .
we are the caregiver. . . because they are ill.

invisible illness understand 2 Why Do We Need People To Understand Our Invisible Illness SO MUCH?And sometimes we feel better.

And sometimes . . . we don’t.

What does this have to do with our actual disease?

Regardless of your illness, it likely has many names. Chronic, degenerative, disabling, terminal, auto-immune, neurological, benign . . . and invisible.

When we say we have a “chronic illness,” we are specifying the length of time this illness is likely going to stick around.

But when we say we have an “invisible illness” we are describing a condition that is hidden.

Which shouldn’t really matter.

It shouldn’t really matter whether people can SEE that inflammation, cells, digestive issues, chemical imbalances, infections, blood sugar, high blood pressure.

Because it’s still there. But somehow it does matter.

People want to look at us, sum us up, see something to prove what is really going on inside of us because then they know the message to give us. If it is all in our head, then why would they need to search for the right words in this awkward situation? They want to fix it, to help us feel better, but sometimes that comes out as, “find the positive, get some grit, grin and bear it.”

They need to see what is wrong with us, so the can say, “oh-h-h, now I understand.” They want to help. And no one can help until they know what is wrong.

Most illnesses aren’t completely invisible

Your illness may be invisible. No symptoms. None. But maybe not.

invisible illness understand 3 Why Do We Need People To Understand Our Invisible Illness SO MUCH?We have just become a society that looks the other way, rarely taking time to understand why a person hesitates before standing or who struggles to open the door at the store.

I notice many diseases now, as I have become more familiar with what invisible symptoms look like.

I see the way a woman walks and understand the pain in her feet.

I see a child struggling to control himself and understand it could be the “H” (hyper) in ADHD.

I see a man pause and fight for balance before stepping off a curb and I suspect he is concentrating on that simple step perhaps because of a stroke or a healing hip, or a recent back surgery.

They are not invisible. Even their pain or physical muscle weakness is not invisible. And yet we call the diseases an “invisible illness.”

Why call our illness invisible?

While the words “chronic illness” means long-term, the term “invisible illness” is more apt to describe the overlapping relationship between us and another person. And most of that overlap of us and them may not include our illness, a big part of our reality, and thus, identity.

In the graphic image below, if you live with a disease that significantly impacts your average day, than you and I would be the teal color. The illness is red, and the friend is purple. See what a small area the average friend may see of your life?

Now, some friends would overlap our circle a lot, but if you are struggling to figure out why your friend isn’t “getting it” it may be because he or she is simply not in the circle. Even though a friend may know you, it may just be that sliver of you that is peeking out from behind the disease.

graphic of what illness relationships feels like Why Do We Need People To Understand Our Invisible Illness SO MUCH?

And yet, should our illness be a part of all of our relationships? Consider that we do not expect everyone around us to know our other experiences that define our identity. For example, must everyone know you are a mother, a divorced person, a person who recycles, or a Republican? Must one know you are dealing with infertility, an overdrawn bank account, a teenager who is stealing your medications, or a dog who eats your shoes?


And yet, are those examples the same as a chronic illness?

For some–yes. Your illness may be extremely private to you. Or it may be an inconvenience, but not disabling. Maybe you have more good days then bad days or the idea of sharing that you are too tired to go to the store is breaking etiquette rules.

For others–no. We cannot move or breath or have a life without our illness showing its control over our body. It puts us in the position of fighting for everything.

We fight to have fun, we fight to recover afterwards, we fight to be a parent and then we fight to raise the children, we fight to get up and we fight to go to sleep . . . we fight to matter. To be something other than a person who is ill.

We feel like we need most people to know about our illness because it really is part of who we are. If they don’t know about the fight, they don’t really know who we are.

–Even though we wish it was different.

And this is why invisible illness is spoken of

invisible illness understand 4 Why Do We Need People To Understand Our Invisible Illness SO MUCH?Many have a chronic illness.

But those of us who are talking about having an invisible illness wish for people to understand us–the real us–not just the shiny, smiling us on the outside. We want people to see more than just the sliver.

Invisible illness is all about the relationship.

It is about how we are perceived. It is about how we are acknowledged, understood, explained, heard, interpreted, rationalized.

It is about our having the strength to become transparent and reveal the ill us. And then, seeking validation for our revealing, which is a human need.

We aren’t looking to be excused or exempt. We don’t want to be pitied or pardoned.

We want someone to say, “I see YOU . . . and I will do my best to be the me you need.”

And that is what every person desires.

. . .Those who live with invisible illnesses.

. . . . Those who live with visible illnesses.

. . . . . . And those who live without any illnesses.

Because you don’t know what the person beside you is fighting for.

So rather than waiting for someone to be what you need, start by being what someone else needs.

20130903 0940291 Why Do We Need People To Understand Our Invisible Illness SO MUCH?


Lisa Copen is the woman behind Invisible Illness Awareness Week and as she seeks to encourage others she also has a desire to better understand the emotions behind our wish for validation. She is the author of “Why Can’t I Make People Understand? Understanding the Validation Those with Chronic Illness Seek and Why” and she offers spiritual support at her ministry

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How Can I Help Invisible Illness Awareness Week?

  • b04 How Can I Help Invisible Illness Awareness Week?

invisible illness week help How Can I Help Invisible Illness Awareness Week?

Thank you so much for your desire to help me with Invisible Illness Awareness Week. I began this week in 2002–hard to believe it has been that long!–and because of people like YOU who are willing to help, we continue to encourage thousands and thousands. If you don’t believe me you an hear what our crowd last year would have sounded like (minute 1:40) if we were in a football stadium.

There are many ways to help. Some of them may be exactly what you LOVE to do or find easy to do. Others may seem waaa–a-a-ay too complicated. Please scan the list and see what sounds appealing to you. If you click on any link it will open in a separate window.

My personal note of reality: I really appreciate your help. My son starts school 9/3 and so between summer chaos, knee injections for the last three weeks and so much more (you know the drill) I do need and REALLY appreciate your help. Because my hands are aching as I type, my doctor says my rib has likely refractured for a third time, and, well, the list is too long to explain, but let’s just say YOU will be the one making the difference this year, not a press release or an event or an article. YOU… sharing, commenting, writing. YOU’RE A GEM! ~Lisa

 Here are the places Invisible Illness Week is:

How to help in a hurry

I have tried to make it easy so you can click through above quickly to be fully connected.

  • Every time a new article appears in our website you will get an email (not more than 1 per day) Go here and enter your email address. You will also get our free ebook (whoo hoo!)
  • On Facebook? Click “Like” to get updates. And then go to our Event Page and click “Attending.” (“Attending” means that you will be involved in the week in some way, not that you need to get on a plane and come to my front door. I mean, you could come but you may be handed a broom. I wouldn’t risk it.)
  • Want to discuss invisible illness issues? Join our Facebook group and talk about what inspires you, news stories that make you want to stomp your feet, what you are blogging about, that kind of thing.
  • On Pinterest? We have nearly 8000 pins which I have pinned all year! Follow us here or if you just want our invisible illness-related boards, follow us here and here and here.
  • On YouTube? Don’t miss our new videos. Click “subscribe” here. (the red button) (Your hand should be hurting by now from all this clicking.)
  • On Twitter? Follow us @invisibleillwk and watch for the hashtag #iiwk13 #invisibleillness and #invisibleillnessichooseto

What social media do YOU use?
This is the way we REACH people and when we reach people we change lives!

lisa bored How Can I Help Invisible Illness Awareness Week?So Share, share, SHARE

Comment. Why? Because YOU will encourage others!

See something about Invisible Illness Awareness Week? Comment. We LOVE to hear from you and know what encourages you, what makes you cry, what makes you do a happy dance when no one is looking.

  • Comment here at our web site We’ve made it easy-peasy to sign in and it can determine who reads the article. Some people are more likely to read YOUR comments than our article. Really. It can be short and sweet if you like or even “thanks for sharing about this” but let people know what they post is worthwhile to you.
  • Comment on the articles at Huffington Post (so they know it’s a hot topic!) | When Your Friend Is Ill the Right Words Are a Blessing
  • Comment on web posts, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, Pinterest pins, even tweets. Be sure to comment in people’s I CHOOSE TO photos they have uploaded to.
  • Visit some of the memes people have filled out and leave a comment. Assure them they are not alone. It’s kind fun to see what makes people happy or bums them out or their favorite gadget.

lisa what to say How Can I Help Invisible Illness Awareness Week?Do you like to write?

There is always room for those of you who like to share your voice!

Do you like to read?

Do you want to share about your illness?

lisa coffee How Can I Help Invisible Illness Awareness Week?Do you consider yourself an advocate and want to help in major ways?

Awww. We LOVE our advocates! Thank you for using your talents and influence to help us encourage those with hidden illness.

  • Post our press release (or edit it to fit your needs) to your own readers.
  • Share information about our photo campaign and encourage people to upload photos as well as vote on others (you can vote once per day)
  • If you are on Twitter be sure to retweet our tweets each day!
  • Post a blog or a series of blogs in topics related to invisible illness. You can find some inspiration here.
  • Post a blog asking people how choices make a difference in how we cope/live with chronic illness and refer them to our photo campaign.
  • Follow us on Facebook and share, share, share. Take our topic idea and ask your own readers to share their experiences to create more activity in your own page.
  • Are you creating an event around Invisible Illness Awareness Week? Let us know so we can share with our friends!

So, whatcha gonna do?

Can I make a suggestion? Pick 3. You don’t have to do them all. . . you don’t have to feel obligated.

But pick 3.

Comment, share, and write . . . Blog, comment, and tweet . . .  Upload a photo for our contest, share and put your left foot in. Oh, wait, well, you get the idea.

mug bad flare day How Can I Help Invisible Illness Awareness Week?And to inspire others and practice look down –below this article. See the comment box? Tell us what 3 you’d like to do to help out and as of September 15, 2013 I will randomly choose a winner for our cute mug that says, “Warning: Bad Flare Day.” With something even nicer on the back side (you can see more here).

So, what’ll it be? What are your 3?

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2013 FAQ – Invisible Illness Week

August 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Announcements, Articles, What's New, How to Help

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Welcome to 2013 Invisible Illness Awareness Week

ichooseto webimage small 2013 FAQ   Invisible Illness Week

What is the 2013 theme?

Our theme this year is “I choose to ______”

Invisible illness isn’t a choice. But your visible hope is! You don’t have control over whether you are ill or not, but there are so many things to do have the ability to choose.
So, what do you choose?
We are collecting your images, photos, illustrations, of what you choose. It can be you holding a piece of paper that says, “I choose to… (fill in the blank).” Or a photo of you doing something you choose. It could be a photo of you and some friends and your choice to find the energy to hand out with them. Whatever!
Your images can be shared anywhere you’d like to help spread the word that invisible illness is not a choice, but you are still finding ways to live.

How do I upload photos?

There are a few ways you can make sure we find and see your photos. You must use certain words in the caption AND use the hashtag #invisibleillnessichooseto
That is the short explanation. For details, see our page just about the photos.

How can I tell other people about this?

We have many ways to make this easy for you so just choose below the ways that work best for you.

Is there going to be a virtual conference like in past years?

There is not. We will have some chat guest on our Facebook page, however. Stay tuned for details and make sure to “like” both our Facebook page and “Event” page so you don’t miss out on any of the information.

If you didn’t get to hear some of the seminars last year, we encourage you check them out. They are all timeless.

If I don’t have a chronic illness can I still get involved?

Of course! We would love to have anyone join us. It’s a wonderful opportunity to better understand what friends and loved ones experience on a daily basis when living with a chronic illness.

Is cancer considered a chronic illness?

Absolutely. There is no discrimination when it comes to chronic illness, and cancer has loads of side effects, some of which last a lifetime unfortunately. If it is a physical or mental illness or condition –or even just a series of symptoms– that is causing you pain, we consider it inclusive.

Is Invisible Illness Week on Facebook?

Yes! And we would love to have you join us there. One of the best parts of Facebook is that it is an easy way to share the things you care about when people who are in your circle without having to push it on them. The more you can share about this the more people we can reach and we are excited to see how it grows.

Here is our NICIAW Fan Page and here is our National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week “Cause” Page .

Each have perks the other one doesn’t have so take a moment to join both!

Is Invisible Illness Week on Pinterest?

Rest Ministries, the sponsor of NICIAW has an entire Pinterest account here. You can find our boards here:

Have a question we’ve not yet addressed? Contact us at the button above.

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Audio of All 2012 Seminars On USB Flash Drive

September 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Announcements

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usb iiwk12 300x300 Audio of All 2012 Seminars On USB Flash DriveFirst, thank you so much to all who came to CNN’s Health chat last week. We had a great turn out and everyone at CNN said, “Consider this a great success!”

Last week I ordered the USB Flash Drives and they are on their way! All the seminars for Invisible Illness Awareness Week have an audio MP3 file and these will be included on the USB drive.

Some people have asked, “Now, what is a USB drive? In case you don’t know, it is like a mini hard drive and can hold a lot of information. For example, only about 1 seminar would fit onto a CD, but we can fit all 19 seminars on this 1 GB flash drive and half of the USB will still be empty.

You can stick it into your computer’s USB drive and listen; you can download it to your computer, your iPod, your MP3 player, or anywhere that allows you to plugin a USB drive. (My car actually has a USB drive.)

look so good Audio of All 2012 Seminars On USB Flash DriveWe are selling these for $15 . . . AND, if you watched the first seminar with Wayne and Sherri talking about what to say and not say to a chronically ill person, you just know their booklet “But You LOOK Good!” is fabulous. We would love to help the, get this book into the hands of more people. So if you pre-order by October 15th, we will throw in this book for just 3.50, saving you a few dollars.*

All orders of the flash drive or combination flash drive/booklet, will be sent mid-October, as soon as we receive the flash drives. By pre-ordering you help us with inventory estimations.

So, here is hoping these two items will help you in the coming months. After all, those holidays are just around the corner, when understanding how to communicate your needs with family is vital! Right?

Order today and get both the booklet, “But You LOOK Good!” and the flash drive with all audio seminars for just $18.50, plus shipping.

lisa signature1 Audio of All 2012 Seminars On USB Flash Drive





*This is a limited time offer and coupons cannot be used. Sorry, but we need to break even on our costs.

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Official Rules for 2013 Photo Campaign

April 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Announcements

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Official Rules for the “I Choose to” Campaign by
Invisible Illness Awareness Week
on behalf of Sponsor, Rest Ministries, Inc.

please scroll down

photocampaign Official Rules for 2013 Photo Campaign


Open to legal residents of the United States and Washington DC (EXCLUDING RESIDENTS OF OVERSEAS MILITARY INSTALLATIONS, PUERTO RICO, AND OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES) who as of August 12, 2013 are 18 years of age or older.

Sponsor: Rest Ministries, Inc.

1. How to Enter:

To enter the “I Choose To” campaign you must log on to the contest site at, read the contest rules and follow the instructions, including, without limitation:

• Take a photo of something that has to do with a choice you have made or are making. Do not take photos of people without their permission or children without permission of a parent or guardian. A photo does not need to include a person. TO BE ELIGIBLE IT MUST include the words “I choose to” (and fill in your personal choice) in the photo or the caption AND have the hashtag #invisibleillnessichooseto.

• Post the photograph on Instagram with the hash tag “#invisibleillnessichooseto” on your valid, public (i.e. not “protected”) Instagram account; OR


• Go to the Invisible Illness Week Facebook Page to upload on the tab/button that says, “I choose to photos” and follow the instructions to upload your photo as instructed.

By submitting an entry to the hash tag #invisibleillnessichooseto, the entrant is confirming that they have read and agree to comply with these official rules and all other contest requirements.

Alternate means of entry is uploading photo on – Facebook has no part of the I Choose to Campaign and is not liable.

Contest begins at 8:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time) on 8/1/2103. All submissions (each photo is considered a submission) must be received by 11:59 p.m. (Pacitic Standard Time) on 09/15/2013.

By participating in the contest entrants hereby agree to the collection and usage of their personal information and acknowledge that they have read and accepted the terms of the privacy policy.

You agree to abide by the Instagram Terms of Use found at and understand that Facebook plays no part in this contest.

Invisible Illness Awareness Week is not responsible for lost, late or misdirected submissions or submissions containing incorrect or incomplete information. They are not responsible for any problems or technical malfunctions of any telephone network or lines, computer, on-line, or Internet systems or services, servers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or entry or confirmation or winner’s notice on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet, problems with the website or Instagram or Facebook, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer resulting from downloading any materials in connection with the contest.

Submissions become the property of sponsor (Rest Ministries) and will not be acknowledged or returned.

By entering this contest, you agree to the following:


1. Submissions cannot:

• Contain any material containing the name, likeness, image, photograph or other identifying elements of any person, other than the entrant and entrant’s immediate family, without written permission of such person;

• Promote the use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons, any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous or any particular political agenda or message;

• Depict, or itself be in, violation of any law;

• Be obscene, sexually explicit, pornographic, offensive, illegal, hateful or obscene, or that promotes violence or harm;

• Contain any virus, Trojan horse or other harmful or malicious code or

• Defame, misrepresent, slander, libel or contain disparaging remarks about other people or companies.

2. You shall be solely responsible for your own submission and the consequences of submitting and publishing your submission in the contest. You affirm, represent,
and warrant as follows:

You own or have all necessary licenses, rights, consents, and permissions to publish the submission and to grant sponsor the rights to use the submission as set forth in these Official Rules.

Without limiting the preceding sentence, you represent that you have obtained all of the rights, licenses and permissions from each person that appeared in the submission or helped create the submission or whose intellectual property is included in the submission.

You MUST be the parent/legal guardian of any child depicted in the photo, or have permission from a parent/legal guardian of each child depicted to submit the submission in this contest;

You are an individual who will be using the prize for personal use. Businesses, nonprofits, and any group entry is not eligible.

Sponsor and its licensees, assigns and promotional partners (including without limitation Rest Ministries) will not be required to pay any sums or incur any obligations to any person or entity as a result of their use, exhibition, publication or exploitation of the submission or any portion thereof.

Sponsor and/or its designed representatives will review all submissions received. If any submission fails to conform to these Official Rules, or sponsor otherwise determines that the submission is inappropriate, would reflect poorly on sponsor or the contest or could adversely affect the reputation or goodwill of sponsor, sponsor may remove and make ineligible for the contest such submission at any time.

Sponsor also reserves the right, at sponsor’s option, to edit any submission, including blurring out third parties, or to require entrant to blur or edit the submission in order to make the it eligible for entry in the contest.

Sponsor, and its licensees, assigns and promotional partners shall own all right, title and interest in each of the submissions and have the right to edit, publish, copy, distribute, broadcast, exhibit, advertise, promote, exploit, display, create derivative works from and otherwise use, and license others to use and edit, in whole or in part, the submissions, worldwide in any media, formats, editions, and derivations, now known or hereafter developed, for all possible editorial, advertising and promotional purposes, without further permission, notice or compensation, in perpetuity, to the fullest extent permitted by law. Without limiting the previous sentence, sponsor and Rest Ministries may publish, display and use your submission on and, and in advertisements for the products and services of Invisible Illness Week websites. You waive any and all “moral rights” or similar rights that you may have in any jurisdiction.

You consent to the use by sponsor and Invisible Illness Week of your name, image, voice, likeness and biographical information worldwide in any media, now known or hereafter developed, for all possible editorial, advertising and promotional purposes without further permission, notice or compensation, in perpetuity, to the fullest extent permitted by law. Without limiting the foregoing, you agree that your name, image, voice, likeness and biographical information may be used in advertising materials for the goods and services of Invisible Illness Awareness Week.


3 winners will be chosen based on votes from the online audience after the deadline of 9/15/13 at MIDNIGHT Pacific Standard Time.

Anyone can vote for the photo they like best, and can vote one time per day per ISP address until 9/15/13.

First place winner will receive an Amazon Kindle Fire with 8 GB Memory. Second and third place winners will each receive a $25 gift card to Amazon.

If there is a tie for any place, first, second or third, the names will be put into a hat and drawn live on video.

The Amazon Kindle Fire is for Continental United States residents only. If an international participant wins first place, he or she will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and the runner up will receive the Amazon Kindle Fire.


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Invisible Illness Week Comics

June 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Announcements

  • b04 Invisible Illness Week Comics

You may feel like crying, but instead, let’s laugh together! We have more in common than we know. You can make your own comic strip at Bit Strips. Be sure to email us a copy and we just may share it here!

You are free to copy and paste these to your own blog, site, etc. just be sure to link it back to – Thanks!

bitstrip001 im out barely Invisible Illness Week Comics

bitstrip002 husband wilth illness Invisible Illness Week Comics

More coming soon!

 Invisible Illness Week Comics
  • b04 Invisible Illness Week Comics

Invisible Illness Week Founder Wins Women’s Health Hero

June 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Announcements, In The News

  • b04 Invisible Illness Week Founder Wins Women’s Health Hero

health logo sq 185 Invisible Illness Week Founder Wins Women’s Health HeroLisa Copen, founder of Rest Ministries, Inc., the largest Christian organization specifically for those with chronic illness or pain won the Our Bodies Ourselves award for Women’s Health Hero: Audience Choice. On May 11, 2009 Our Bodies Ourselves announced the 2009 Womens’ Health Heroes, honoring the work of women’s health advocates worldwide, marking OBOS’s first annual effort to spotlight the diversity of care, education and activism in communities around the world.

See OBOS’s announcement, as well as the nomination and kind comments for Lisa here:

“Every day millions of people worldwide do incredible work to improve the health and well-being of women, and we want to bring attention to their efforts,” said Our Bodies Ourselves Executive Director Judy Norsigian. “Many of our heroes accomplish so much with very few resources, particularly on the frontlines of public health, where gaps in the quality of care and healthcare access remain persistent.”

The inaugural group, chosen from close to 100 nominations, represents seven countries: United States (13), Canada (2), Australia, The Netherlands, Nigeria, United Kingdom, Ukraine.

Jenny Prokopy of who was a special guest speaker in 2008 and will be participating in 2009 as well was also selected as one of the Womens Health Heroes.

Copen, who began Rest Ministries in 1997 after living four years with rheumatoid arthritis and not finding illness support that was faith-based says, “It’s a great honor to win this award, but more exciting is the opportunity to have the opportunity for Rest Ministries to gain the exposure. We sponsor National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week each September and have a five-day virtual conference online. I hope that this award will be a reminder of the resources that are out there to encourage people while living with illness.”

To find out more about Rest Ministries visit our web site at and information for National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is now being updated for 2009 at

 Invisible Illness Week Founder Wins Women’s Health Hero
  • b04 Invisible Illness Week Founder Wins Women’s Health Hero

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