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!

Get Healthy Now 5K 2016

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Zebra Nation partnered again with Antioch Cares for a 5K run/walk, to fight childhood obesity and raise awareness of invisible illnesses!

The race was held on Saturday, June 18th at 10 am at Lansing Community College, West Campus. Over 30 people joined Team Zebra, which resulted in winning the first place team trophy for three years in a row! Yea Team Zebra!

5th Annual Benefit Concert

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We’d like to extend a HUGE round of thanks to everyone who helped make our 5th Annual Benefit Concert a success! Due to the generous support of our donors, sponsors, and attendees, this year’s benefit raised an incredible amount of nearly $27,000 to support our mission to raise awareness of, educate around, and support research for invisible illnesses. Your kindness and generosity are very much appreciated!

The night was filled with incredible music by Boston-based singer-songwriter, Chris Trapper; amazing silent auction items; and an inspirational speech from spotlight speaker, author, and advocate for individuals with disabilities, Lisa K. Gigliotti.

We were so honored to partner with the University of Toledo Medical Center again this year to support Dr. Blair Grubb and his team’s groundbreaking research on Dysautonomia. Life as a Zebra Foundation presented Dr. Grubb and the University of Toledo Foundation with a $11,000 check. We look forward to our continued work with UTMC in the future.

First Annual Y-PIF Award

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It is always our goal to begin our education efforts with our youth. The Life as a Zebra Foundation was so proud when the non-profit ePIFanyNow™ awarded two of Life as a Zebra’s youngest and biggest supporters, Isabelle Wynn and Zoe Ziegler, with the first annual Y-PIF (Youth Passing Kindness Forward) Award on Sunday, May 3rd. These two young ladies were awarded for organizing the Zebra Zoom Run which raised over $1,000 for the Life as a Zebra Foundation.

The Y-PIF Award included over $500.00 to the Life as a Zebra Foundation.

Michigan Invisible Illness Awareness Week

Written by Katie Jaskolski on . Posted in News

For the second year in a row, the Michigan Senate unanimously adopted a resolution formally declaring the week of May 24 to 30, 2015 as Invisible Illness Awareness Week in Michigan. Senate Resolution 0063 (2015) was adopted on Tuesday, May 26, following similar action by the House of Representatives. Senate Majority Leader, Arlan Meekhof, introduced Katie Dama-Jaskolski, co-founder of the Life as a Zebra Foundation, to the Senate floor.

The 2015 Invisible Illness Awareness Week was themed “Making the Invisible, Visible” to reflect the widespread scope of the issue and share the stories of people living with invisible illness. The purpose of Invisible Illness Awareness Week is to raise awareness of invisible illnesses among the general public and medical community, while reducing the stigma surrounding these illnesses.

Dama-Jaskolski commented, “The adoption of Invisible Illness Awareness Week in Michigan for the second year in a row shows that we are continuing to make strides in keeping the dialogue open in our community and in our state about invisible illnesses, and that they are just as real, and can be just as debilitating as visible illnesses. One of the Life as a Zebra Foundation’s goals is to educate and raise awareness of invisible illnesses among the general public and the medical community and to reduce the stigma that surrounds these kind of illnesses. We are grateful for the opportunity to spotlight these issues on the state level for the second year in a row, to raise awareness, and to let others who are living with invisible illnesses know they are not alone, and that there is hope and help out there.”

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 such bravery, honesty, and inspiration. Check out our Facebook page to read the stories, or to share your own.

Full Press Release

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.