Author Archive

UTMC Partnership Research Project Update

Written by Katie Jaskolski on . Posted in News

August 2016 Update from Dr. Kenneth Hensley:

I have been working with one of Dr. Grubb’s student residents Dr. Ruzieh Mohammed to teach him the immunoglobulin pull-down assay in my lab. We have performed some technical variations to determine how the assay might be modified. Our hope is to continue to try to identify novel immunoglobulins in POTS sera.

Please see below for the latest update on Dr. Grubb and his team’s progress on the groundbreaking research project they are currently doing on Dysautonomia that Life as a Zebra Foundation has helped fund.

Grubb Update


Written by Katie Jaskolski on . Posted in News

Did you know that you can benefit the Life as a Zebra Foundation every single time you shop at Amazon will donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. To learn more about how you can support the Life as a Zebra Foundation every time you shop, click here.

Michigan Invisible Illness Awareness Week

Written by Katie Jaskolski on . Posted in News

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 medical community, while reducing stigma surrounding these illnesses.

Senate Resolution 0063 (2016) was adopted on May 19 following similar action by the House of Representatives. Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. introduced Katie Dama-Jaskolski, co-founder of the Life as a Zebra Foundation, to the Senate floor.

The 2016 Invisible Illness Awareness Week was themed “Making the Invisible Illnesses; Visible Hope” to reflect the widespread scope of the issue and to create a forum to share the stories of people living with invisible illness.

Dama-Jaskolski commented:

“We have shined the light on invisible illnesses throughout the years, but it’s still not enough to erase the stigma many people feel, and to bring more early diagnoses to these conditions,” Dama Jaskolski said. “It’s great to have advocates like Representative Schor and Senator Hertel in the Michigan Legislature to bring this issue to the forefront. The person right beside you could be suffering from an unseen illness, and in need of compassion, care and understanding.”

Throughout Invisible Illness Awareness Week, “zebras” from around the country shared their stories about living with various invisible illnesses on social media. They are written with bravery, honesty, and inspiration. Check out our Facebook page to read the stories, or to share your own.

5th Annual Zebra Day

Written by Katie Jaskolski on . Posted in News

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 and of living a life of fulfillment despite adversity.

2nd Annual Zebra Zoom

Written by Katie Jaskolski on . Posted in News

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 support of invisible illness awareness!

The Foundation is so honored and grateful that our mission has awakened such compassion for others in these young ladies! Thank you, Isabelle and Zoe for your selflessness and hard work to bring awareness to invisible illnesses!


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.