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.

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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.