• Featured Story

    As seen on HOMTV's Community Connection

    Produced by Max Ieuter of HOMTV. This is Katie and Allie's story.

  • We Welcome Donations

    Through financial contributions and volunteering.

    You can donate using any of the donation boxes on our website or, contact us at katie@zebranation.org to learn more about how you can become involved. We thank you for helping us make a difference.

    Donations Volunteer

Zebra News

  • Michigan Invisible Illness Awareness Week

    For the third year in a row, both the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution formally declaring the week of May 22, 2016 to May 28, 2016 as “Invisible Illness Awareness Week” in Michigan. The goal of the week is to raise awareness of invisible illnesses among the general public and [...]

  • 5th Annual Zebra Day

    The 5th annual Zebra Day at Wexford Montessori Academy was a success! Wexford’s staff and students came together to dress in their favorite zebra gear. Foundation co-founders Katie Dama-Jaskolski and Allie Dama Affandy gave presentations to children from kindergarten through eighth grade about invisible illnesses and the importance of having empathy, and compassion for others [...]

  • 2nd Annual Zebra Zoom

    Life as a Zebra’s youngest and biggest supporters, Isabelle Wynn and Zoe Ziegler, were at it again this year, organizing the 2nd annual Zebra Zoom 5k, which raised over $1,000 for the Life as a Zebra Foundation. The race was held on May 14, 2016, and more than 30 participants showed up to race in [...]

Life As A Zebra Foundation

In medical school, students are taught to diagnose patients based on the condition that’s most likely. This idea goes along with the saying: “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” The horses are the likely explanation, while the zebras are less likely. A medical zebra, then, is a person with a rare medical condition.

Life as a Zebra Foundation’s Mission

The primary purpose of the Life as a Zebra Foundation is to receive and administer funds for the purpose of education and charitable contributions for education, prevention, treatment, and research of various rare, invisible illnesses including, but not limited to, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Dysautonomia, and Vasculitis.


Dysautonomia literally means dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is the master regulator of organ function throughout the body. It is involved in the control of heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, respiration, digestion and other vital functions.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Individuals with EDS have a defect in their connective tissue, the tissue that provides support to many body parts such as the skin, muscles and ligaments. The fragile skin and unstable joints found in EDS are the result of faulty collagen.


Vasculitis is a family of rare and chronic autoimmune diseases, all characterized by the inflammation of blood vessels. There are more than 15 different vasculitis diseases, all of which can affect people of various ages, races, and genders.