• 2014 Benefit Gala & Concert

    An look back at our evening of awareness, entertainment, & hope.

    A special thanks to everyone who helped make our April 12, 2014 event a success!

  • 2014 3rd Annual Benefit Concert: Recap

    Nearly $27,000 raised!

    LAAZF hosted our 3rd Annual Benefit Gala & Concert on April 12, 2014, featuring acclaimed singer-songwriters Chris Trapper (of The Push Stars) and Tony Lucca (of NBC's The Voice). Due to the generous support of our donors, sponsors, and attendees, this year’s benefit raised a record amount of nearly $27,000 to support our mission to raise awareness, educate, and support research for invisible illnesses. Your kindness and generosity are very much appreciated!

    Make a Donation

  • 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

  • DR. TENAGLIA’S SEPTEMBER FUNDRAISER TO BENEFIT LAAZF

    OKEMOS, MI – Dr. Christine Tenaglia is proud to announce that her dentistry practice’s September fundraising efforts will support Life as a Zebra Foundation.

    Dr. Tenaglia and her team have monthly appreciation gifts for their patients. For the month of September, the office will be decorated with University of Michigan and Michigan State accessories. Patients [...]

  • LAAZF Meets With Congressional Leaders

    LANSING, MI – On July 22-23, 2014, Life as a Zebra Foundation Co-Founders, Katie Dama Jaskolski and Allie Dama, will meet with congressional leaders in Washington, D.C. to discuss the prevalence of invisible illness in the United States.

    Meetings have been scheduled with: Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI8), Representative Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI11), [...]

  • LAAZF Spearheads MI “Invisible Illness Awareness Week” Resolution

    MAY 25-31, 2014 ADOPTED AS INVISIBLE ILLNESS AWARENESS WEEK IN MICHIGAN, THEMED “EVERYBODY KNOWS SOMEBODY”

    The Michigan Senate has unanimously adopted a resolution formally declaring the week of May 25-31, 2014 as Invisible Illness Awareness Week in Michigan. The resolution was introduced by Senate Majority Leader, Randy Richardville of Monroe, MI, on Wednesday, May 21. [...]

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

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

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.