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Tell us how you plan to help! We'll be giving prizes away weekly!
 
 

Welcome to our conference schedule (below) and guest bios (further below)

We have 20 FREE online chat seminars
Sept 10-14.
Scroll down to read about the topics and learn more about our special guests!

See our latest ezine/news UPDATE! Update #1 | Update #2

  • Don't miss our online conference with chat guests each day between Sept 10- 14th (Monday through Friday).
  • Each seminar lasts about 1 hour; the guest presents about 20-30 minutes and then opens it up for discussion.
  • Each day we will have 4 different chats in the morning, afternoon, late afternoon, and early evening.
  • We hope you will be able to attend a few, and transcripts will also be made available within a few weeks after Invisible Illness Awareness Week.
  • Below is our schedule with topics and guests. Click "read more" or scan down to learn more about our guests and their experiences.
  • We're sure you will find so much helpful information during this week and be sure to make it a priority to take a few minutes to visit some of our "speakers" web sites or purchase their books. All of them have donated their time, preparation and resources just to encourage you!


SCHEDULE OF TOPICS
MORNING
AFTERNOON
LATE AFTERNOON
EVENING

9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Pacific
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Central
12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Eastern


1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Pacific
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Central
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern


3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Pacific
5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Central
6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Eastern


5 p.m - 6 p.m. Pacific
7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Central
8 p.m. - 9 p.m. Eastern

MON 9/10

Kickin' things off with Invisible Illness Week Founder, Lisa Copen and founder of www.butyoudontlooksick.com, Christine Miserandino

[hosted by "Shep"]

How To Shamelessly Get What You Need When No One Seems To Care

Carmen Leal, author and coordinator of Someone Cares Christian Caregiver Conference

[hosted by Laura]

Don't BE Invisible: Workplace Success with INVISIBLE Chronic Illness

Rosalind Joffe, founder and Principal of CIcoach.com, a Boston area firm

[hosted by Shep]

TBA

Scott Davis, Attorney at Law

[hosted by Debbie Mc]

  Read More about Lisa
Read More about Christine
Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout
TUES 9/11

Building a Business Vision While Honouring and Accomodating Your Health

Trish Robichaud, Maximum Life Coach, TeleClass Leader, Motivational Speaker, Facilitator & Disability Awareness Coach

[hosted by "Shep"]

Going Back to School When You Have a Chronic Illness

Lynn C. Royster, Ph.D. is Director of the Chronic Illness Initiative at DePaul University's School for New Learning

[hosted by Clarisse]

Touching Lives for God...
in Sickness and in Health

Carol A. Krejci, author,

[hosted by Sehp]

How to Be a ChronicBabe: Five Steps to Get You Started

Jenni Prokopy, founder of ChronicBabe.com

[hosted by Donna]

Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout 1 (click here) & 2 (click here) Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout
WED 9/12

Taking a Stand: How to Avoid Medical Mistakes

Janet Lynn Mitchell, author Taking a Stand and patient advocate

[hosted by "Shep"]

 

How to Soar Unafraid Through Life Even With Invisible Illness

Jo Franz, author Soar Unafraid

[hosted by Laura]

Blogging About Your Illness

Sherril Johnson

[hosted by Lisa]

Suffered enough? Learn how to create a life you truly enjoy (even if you don't think you can) from a life coach who has learned to live well with a serious chronic illness.

Tom Robinson, M.A., Chronic Illness Life Coach, Life Choices Life Changes

[hosted by Debbie Mc]

Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout
THURS 9/13

Overcoming insurmountable challenges, and knowing that “With God, all things are possible!"

Laura Beth Young, Inspirational Poet, Writer, Singer, Motivational speaker, and founder o f Cheerful Hearts


[hosted by "Shep"]

When it's not getting better:  Spiritual resources

Virgil Fry, author

[hosted byCarol W.]

What Everybody Ought To Know About Magnesium

Patrick Sullivan, Jr. of Jigsaw Health

[hosted by "Shep"]

Parenting When You Have a Chronic illness

Zona King

[hosted by Clarisse]

Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout
FRI
9/14

Mental Illness and Faith Communities: Creating Caring Congregations

Susan Gregg-Schroeder

[hosted by "Shep"]

Invisible Disabilities: But You LOOK Good! / Statistics / What to Say / What Not to Say / How to Help?

Sherri Connell

[hosted by Shep]

Time Management - How it can make a difference with your illness

Karen Whiting

[hosted by ----

Discerning God's Will in Life with Chronic Pain & Illness

Maureen Pratt

[hosted by Kathy S.]

Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout Read More | Get handout

 

GUEST BIOS



MON MORNING

9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Pacific
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Central
12 p.m. - 1p.m. Eastern

Lisa Copen, founder of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, founder and director of Rest Ministries, author, Editor of HopeKeepers Magazine

Lisa Copen is the founder and executive director of Rest Ministries, Inc., an organization for people who live with chronic illness or pain which was incorporated in 1998. She is editor of HopeKeepers Magazine which she began in 2004. Rest Ministries is the sponsor of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week.

Despite being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis is 1993, at the age of 24, she's never let it hold her back. In fact, rather than getting depressed about her diagnosis, she eagerly anticipated how God was going to use it! Her illness has continued to be active and degenerative and joint replacements are in her near future. But she feels blessed to have discovered God's purpose in the pain by reaching out to others who are hurting, as well as providing tools for churches who want to increase their awarness of chronic illness. She has authored about eight books including, Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend (2005), Why Can't I Make People Understand? Discovering the validation those with chronic illness seek and why (2004), Mosaic Moments: Devotionals for the chronically ill (2002) and materials for churches like Bible studies and support group materials. She's a contributor to various books and a member of CLASS (Christian Leaders, Authors & Speakers) and AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association). She lives with her husband and 4-year old son in San Diego, CA. In her spare time she is working on a Christian "mom lit" book and has began a special scrapbook option for those who have adopted children called Amusement Parts.

Visit her web sites:
Rest Ministries, Inc. | HopeKeepers Magazine | Rest Ministries Publishers Invisible Illness Week |
The Christian Illness-Disability-Healthcare-Caregiver Ministry Network (founder) | Scrapbook My Adoption

Lisa is donating 1 copy of each of her following books:
Mosaic Moments: Devotionals for the Chronically Ill,
Why Can't I Make People Understand? and Beyond Casseroles

 

 



MON MORNING

9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Pacific
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Central
12 p.m. - 1p.m. Eastern

Christine Miserandino, founder
www.butyoudontlooksick.com

From the age of fifteen, Christine Miserandino has been diagnosed with a myriad of illnesses from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Epstein Barr, and finally, many years later to a determination of Lupus. Though battling a shopping list of symptoms, Christine has consistently been told, by both well-wishers and doctors alike, “But you don't look sick.” as if that was some kind of compensation for being chronically ill. Many times, being pretty or not sickly looking, made it harder to validate an illness you cannot see. Christine started out life with dreams of being a dancer on Broadway. She was classically trained for years and studied at The High School of Performing Arts in New York City.

She enjoyed acting, modeling and dancing. Just when a dancing career was on the brink, she was told that dancing would not be a good career choice for someone with joint pain. Her limitless career was cut short due to complications with her illness. She was forced to leave school because a flare with Lupus was out of control. Plagued with heart and breathing problems, as well as pain and debilitating fatigue, Christine was left with no other choice but to take a medical leave from both school and her job. While most young adults are concentrating on their future careers, salaries, or a love life, Christine was worrying about medications, hospital stays and how to pay her bills.

Christine spends her time writing, volunteering, and taking care of her new puppy, Sparky. She enjoys speaking, writing and being a patient advocate. She started this website called www.butyoudontlooksick.com to help others. Christine's writing has been featured in numerous publications and media.

Visit her website



MON AFTERNOON

1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Pacific
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Central
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern

Carmen Leal, Author
Twenty-Third Psalm for Caregivers
Coordinator, Someone Cares Christian Caregiver Conference

Carmen Leal knows first hand the stresses and the joys of caregiving, as she served as her late husband's caregiver for twelve years.. Out of her experiences God birthed a ministry to families with Huntington's disease and those in a caregiving situation. She is the author of nine books including The Twenty-Third for Caregivers, The Twenty-Third Psalm for Those Who Grieve, Faces of Huntington's, and Portraits of Huntington's. Her writings have been featured in Guideposts, Focus on the Family, Decision Magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, and numerous national and local publications. Her personal experience stories have appeared in dozens of compilation book series.

Her wit, humor, and poignant personal observations, coupled with her down-to-earth style and common sense approach to dealing with life, inspire her audiences. Through her transparency, she has the ability to encourage and bring hope to all. Using songs to enhance her message, Carmen weaves music into her presentations using a rich clear voice. Carmen lives with her family on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. She is currently organizing the Someone Cares Christian Caregivers Conference in October. See http://www.someonecaresonline.com .

About the workshop: How To Shamelessly Get What You Need When No One Seems To Care This workshop focuses on creative and positive ways to cut through the red tape facing caregivers and their families. This interactive brainstorming session will help families understand how to effectively interact with church, social services agencies, and medical decision makers to get what they need to provide the best level of care for their loved ones.


Visit her web site

Carmen is donating a copy of each of her books, The Twenty-Third Psalm for Caregivers and Portraits of Huntington's as door prizes.

 

 

 




MON LATE AFTERNOON
3 p.m. -4 p.m. Pacific
5 p.m. - 6p.m. Central
6 p.m. - 7p.m. Eastern

Rosalind Joffe
Founder and President of CIcoach.com

Rosalind is passionate about giving people the tools they need to thrive in their work while living with chronic illness.

In addition to over 30 years of personal experience living with auto immune chronic illnesses, including multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis, Rosalind has 30 years of experience working. She has held management positions in small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. Ten years ago, she founded her own, very successful executive coaching business. Over the past decade, Rosalind has coached several hundred people. When she launched cicoach.com in 2003, she focused her efforts on working with people living with chronic illness who want to stay successfully employed in the workplace.

A nationally recognized expert, Rosalind has published her own articles in dozens of Disease Organization and Health Journals. She has also been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe and has been heard on National ABC Radio, Boston Business Radio and Heathtalk.com, to name a few.

Rosalind holds a B.S. in Communications and an M.Ed. from Boston University, is a certified mediator, a graduate of Corporate Coach University. You can get her free, monthly e-Newsletter, Out in Front.

Visit her websites:

www.cicoach.com:
Thrive in the workplace with c (chronic) i (illness) feature the resources and services a person needs to be successful at work - while living with a chronic illness.
www.keepworkinggirlfriend.com: women, work and chronic illness is an online community for women with chronic illness who want to work

Those who participate in Invisible Chronic Illness Week should check out http://cicoach.com to sign up for Rosalind's monthly free enewsletter, Out in Front, focusing on issues people living with chronic illness face in the workplace. Subscribers even get a free eBook, The 7 Factors That Affect Success in The Work Place. SPECIAL OFFER: If you subscribe and say that you heard me here, I'll give you a free 45 minute coaching session!

Special Limited Offer: Sign up for my coaching after taking this seminar and you can receive a 10% discount for 6 months and a free copy of my book, when it comes out early 2008.


MON NIGHT
5 p.m - 6 p.m. Pacific
7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Central
8 p.m. -9 p.m. Eastern

Scott Davis, Attorney at Law

Attorney Scott E. Davis is regarded as one of our nation’s legal specialists in representing clients who are disabled due to fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome. Mr. Davis has successfully represented Social Security disability clients of all ages throughout the United States.

Mr. Davis’ practice requires him to travel extensively to every region of the United States to represent clients at Social Security disability hearings. Mr. Davis has won Social Security disability cases in every region of the United States and in approximately 40 states. And Mr. Davis’ extensive experience is evident in the fact that his firm wins chronic pain and fatigue Social Security disability cases over 90% of the time. This success rate is significantly higher than the average disability attorney and more than double the success rate of Social Security claimants who are not represented. Perhaps most impressive about this success rate is the fact that chronic pain and chronic fatigue disability cases are often more difficult to win than the average case.

Mr. Davis’ extensive experience in representing chronic pain and chronic fatigue clients has provided him a very unique and compassionate understanding of the complex issues his clients face on a daily basis.

Mr. Davis tries to define his legal practice in three words… compassion, preparation, and persistence.

Mr. Davis resides in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and two sons.

Visit his website | Read some excellent articles on SSI and SSDI from Scott


TUES MORN

9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Pacific
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Central
12 p.m. - 1p.m. Eastern

Trish Robichaud, Maximum Life Coach
TeleClass Leader, Motivational Speaker,
Facilitator & Disability Awareness Coach

As a coach, my passion in life is to motivate and empower people to unleash their full potential. My goal is to help them define and achieve their maximum life in spite of a chronic health condition that challenges them on a daily basis. My instinctive ability to see assets in people and reflect those assets back to them, enables my clients to see themselves in a more positive light. As a person with multiple sclerosis myself, I bring a personal commitment to the work I do. I have learned how to keep the MS at bay, for the most part, through profound lifestyle changes and by minimizing stress and its effects on my life.

Visit her web site |
Hear her audio "commercial"

5 single sessions for 5 different individuals
3 sessions (a 1 month program) for one individual

 

 

 




TUES AFTERNOON
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Pacific
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Central
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern

Lynn C. Royster, Ph.D.
Director of the Chronic Illness Initiative
at DePaul University's School for New Learning

This is a unique program designed to help chronically ill students obtain a college education. In addition, she designs and teaches courses in conflict management, adult psychology, and writing.

Dr. Royster also serves as Vice Chair of the CFIDS Association of America, Inc. and as Board Secretary of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Chemical Sensitivity Coalition of Chicago. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan, her M.A. from Prescott College, her J.D. from George Washington University, and her Ph.D. from the Union Institute and University.

She has two grown children, one of whom has suffered from a chronic illness for over twenty years, and lives in Chicago with her husband, Michael Royster.

Visit her website





TUESDAY
LATE AFTERNOON
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Pacific
5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Central
6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Eastern

Carol Krejci, R.N
Author

Carol is the mother of 3 sons and a daughter, grandmother of 10 and great-grandmother of a one-year-old little boy. She currently lives in Lancaster, Ohio on a Christian Campground and enjoys writing, singing, making scrapbooks and cake decorating.

After 42 years of nursing, she retired in 2002 from Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio and moved to San Diego, CA. where she wrote her first book, Sowin' Seeds and Touchin' Lives.

Her past experiences of raising four children while working as a staff and an Emergency Room nurse did not prepare her for the loss from cancer of four special people in her life. In 1986, she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which provided a name and some credibility for the indescribable fatigue she had been experiencing. What she has learned is that regardless of the circumstances, God has things He wants to accomplish through us even when we feel we have nothing left to give.

In her session for Invisible Illness Week, she will share some of the insights she has gleaned from her own experience and that of others with chronic illnesses: that we can feel fulfilled and purposeful, despite our illness, by following God's direction and doing what He sets before us. He will never give us more than we are able to do.

Carol is donating 2 copies of her book Sowin' Seeds and Touchin' Lives

 


TUES NIGHT
5 p.m - 6 p.m. Pacific
7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Central
8 p.m. -9 p.m. Eastern

Jenni Prokopy
Founder, ChronicBabe.com

Jenni is founder and editrix of ChronicBabe.com, an online resource for young women with chronic illness. An award-winning writer, speaker, and expert on healthy living, she shares her personal experience with chronic illness - and rallies the expertise of hundreds of others - to help women live beyond their illness and be total Babes. Her writing has appeared in more than 100 publications, and she has worked with dozens of organizations large and small, local and multinational, to create compelling messages that empower people to work better, play harder… and be their best.

How to Be a ChronicBabe: 5 Steps to Get You Started will look at tools you can use to start living well in spite of chronic illness. With an irreverent attitude and a practical approach, Jenni Prokopy of ChronicBabe.com will walk you through her most important steps for living "babelicious" even if you're a sick chick, including building a support "team," organizing your medical paperwork, learning to ask for help (and getting it!) and more.

Visit her website

Anyone who participates in Invisible Chronic Illness Week should check out http://www.chronicbabe.com/media/newsletters to sign up for a free enewsletter, the Survival Kit, published every other week. Subscribers even get a free ebook, How to Be a ChronicBabe: A Beginner's Toolkit, chock full of time-saving, empowering and fun tips!

 

 



WED MORNING

9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Pacific
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Central
12 p.m. - 1p.m. Eastern

Janet Lynn Mitchell
Author, advocate

Janet was a senior in high school, when she lost the use of her legs following surgery. On the night of her tenth surgery, she met Marty, who became her cheerleader and was alongside her as she learned to walk again. Eventually, he became her husband. Janet and Marty have been married for over twenty years and have three children. Janet's knee problems reoccurred when she was thirty-two.

She was horrified to learn she had been a victim of medical negligence, fraud and concealment. Her additional surgeries had been attempts to correct the mistakes. Janet has since become a voice for others who have suffered medical fraud. Assembly Bill 2571, borne out of her misfortunes, unanimously passed both the California Assembly and the Senate and was signed into state law on August 31, 2000.

Her story, Taking a Stand, has motivated others to "take a stand" and remain firm in their faith through the good, bad, and the outrageous. . Her stories and articles have appeared in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Multnomah's Stories for the Extreme Teen, and in magazine such as Woman's World, Light and Life, and Celebrate Life. Her Testimony, "When Doctors Make Mistakes," was published in the July/August 2005 issue of Today's Christian Woman magazine.

Visit her website



WED AFTERNOON
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Pacific
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Central
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern

Jo Franz
Author

Jo Franz has had MS since 1977, while learning to live a joyful, abundant life despite numerous other problems. She knows the pain of abandonment, rejection, times of severe MS weakness, and even a cervical spinal cord injury.

But Jo has learned to live a life of adventure! She speaks for audiences across the nation of all sizes, inspiring them to live with Christ’s power in their weaknesses—no matter what those may be—for Jo believes all are “disabled” in some way or another.

Her authenticity is obvious during her vulnerable sharing of her own failures and triumphs. In addition to singing and writing songs for her CD, she has contributed stories to various other books. Jo is a national speaker, as well as peer counselor and inspirational speaker for the National MS Society. Her new memoir, Soar Unafraid, Learning to Trust No Matter What, is available at her web site www.jofranz.com. Jo can be contacted for speaking from there as well.

Visit her website

Jo is donating two autographed copies" of Soar Unafraid.

 

 



WED
LATE AFTERNOON

3 p.m. -4 p.m. Pacific
5 p.m. - 6p.m. Central
6 p.m. - 7p.m. Eastern

Sherril Johnson
Iillness Blogger

Sherril Johnson (SW Georgia, USA) is an active blogger on the topic of invisible chronic illness. Her blog is called "The Invisible Chroic Illness Experience." She is also the founder of Albany, Georgia Area Patient Advocate, and she acts as support group facilitator for the Albany Area Fibromyalgia Support Group, and for the Albany NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) affiliate consumer support group.

Visit her websites:
Invisible Illness Experience Blog | Invisible Illness Experience




WED NIGHT

5 p.m - 6 p.m. Pacific
7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Central
8 p.m. -9 p.m. Eastern

Tom Robinson, M.A.
Chronic Illness Life Coach, Life Choices Life Changes

Tom knows firsthand how hard it is to live with a chronic illness: he's
lived with Crohn's disease for the last 11 years. Like many others with
chronic illnesses, he's confronted the difficulty of finding excellent
medical care in a system that often seems dysfunctional and he's dealt
with workplace hostility and discrimination against those wtih chronic
illnesses, as well as the struggle of just getting through each day.

Because of his experience, Tom genuinely understands and deeply
empathizes with his clients. He helps and supports them in taking steps,
sometimes big and sometimes small, to meet their challenges and begin
creating lives they truly enjoy.

Visit his web site | Free Report: "How to Have a Life Even Though You Have a Chronic Illness"

Tom is donating four 45-minute coaching sessions. Everyone
who comes to my presentation can have a 30-minute no charge coaching
session with him (wow!).

 

 

 

 



THURS MORNING

9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Pacific
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Central
12 p.m. - 1p.m. Eastern

Laura Beth Young
Inspirational Poet, Writer, Singer, Motivational speaker, and founder of Cheerful Hearts

When an accident left Laura Beth bed-ridden with spinal damage and chronic pain at the age of twenty- eight, she felt her life was over. But God had a different plan! She now shares the story of God's awesome power in her life. He has given her strength to raise four sons, who were all under the age of eight, from her bedside; as well as gifted her to become a dynamic speaker and creator of inspirational products that uplift, comfort, motivate, and encourage! Her web-site, www.CheerfulHearts.org, offers a plethora of free poetry and prose that will motivate you to live a life of purpose, passion, and greatness!

Visit her website

Laura Beth will be giving away one free beautifully matted poetry print, If Only..., valued at $29.99. Click here for to see a description and larger view.

 

 



THURS AFTERNOON
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Pacific
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Central
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern

Virgil M Fry
Author

Mr. Fry is the author of Warmed by Fires of Hope, & Disrupted: Finding God in Illness & Loss (Leafwood Publishers). He has been a hospital chaplain, adjunct professor and presenter on coping with serious illness and grief and several articles. His wife of 33 years has ongoing chronic illness issues (diabetes & dialysis).

Visit his website

 

Virgil will be donating a copy of each of his books, Warmed by Fires of Hope, & Disrupted: Finding God in Illness & Loss (Leafwood Publishers).

 




THURS
LATE AFTERNOON

3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Pacific
5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Central
6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Eastern

Patrick Sullivan Jr.
Co-founder and president of Jigsaw Health

Co-founder and president of Jigsaw Health, the web's leading resource for chronic health conditions. Sullivan participated in Invisible Awareness Week 2006 as a guest speaker discussing the dangers of mercury amalgams (aka. "silver fillings"). This year, Sullivan will host a chat session entitled, "What Everybody Ought To Know About Magnesium." -- up to 80% of Americans are deficient in this essential macro mineral that is involved in over 325 known biochemical reactions and tied to body aches, muscle twitches, spasms and cramps, low energy, headaches and migraines, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, weakness and fatigue. Learn the secrets of how to get more magnesium into your body -- from foods, to oils, to supplements.

Visit his web sites: http://www.JigsawHealth.com http://www.JigsawHealth.org http://www.ToxicTeeth.org http://www.PatSullivan.com

Patrick will be donating 24 bottles of our Magnesium w/SRT

 

 


THURS NIGHT

5 p.m - 6 p.m. Pacific
7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Central
8 p.m. -9 p.m. Eastern

"Zona" King
Writer/Artist

Twenty seven years ago while pregnant with her fourth child "Zona" (Linda) was exposed to a pesticide by aerial spraying of nearby orchard. That event turned her life up on end. Her baby boy was born with birth defects and lived only six days. Her own health deteriorated until she was no longer able to function normally. She was eventually diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM) and pre-existing RA. Becoming homebound she could no longer pursue her career as a TV director nor do many things with her children. These illnesses changed the lifestyle of her entire family. Several years later when her middle son was a teenager he also came down with CFS and FM. A few months later at 40 years old she was surprised, and blessed, with another daughter. A few years later she found herself dealing with illness and small child alone, divorced.

Thinking her life wasn't complicated enough she married a man who also has CFS, FM and MCS. Never without humor she says "Life is interesting in the s-l-o-w lane!" Her children are now 37, 34, 30 & 16. She is the grandmother of seven granddaughters and soon to have her first grandson.

Zona is the founder of several Christian e-lists on a variety of topics relating to chronic illness including CMCS-ei, 2 of Us Ill, CMCS with kidz, CCFS and Homebounder's XChange about working from home. She runs a computer business, is a graphic and fine artist and a writer with a blog, several books and scripts "in the works". Her website, Zona's Zone has a section for those who know someone with a chronic illness with suggestions of what they and churches can do to help. It also links to Zona's Shop, downloadable greeting cards, t-shirts etc. and a link to the Art Gallery. Zona has two blogs, Zona's Blog which is about living with chronic invisible illnesses and Sunnydale Funnyfarm written by her alter ego, Dr Wolfgang Wisenheimer.

Zona believes that nothing can make you smile faster than the sound of a toddler giggling and that the key to survival is a deep and abiding faith in the Lord and a good sense of humor, "A bit of nutzoid doesn't hurt!".

Visit her websites
Zona's Zone | Zona's Blog



FRI MORNING
9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Pacific
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Central
12 p.m. - 1p.m. Eastern

Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder
Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries

Rev. Gregg-Schroeder is working to erase the stigma associated with mental illness in faith communities. As a consumer, she also educates doctors, therapists and other mental health care providers to understand the important role a person's spirituality can play in the recovery and healing process.

As Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries, Susan has produced ten broadcast-quality VHS and two DVD resources addressing various mental health issues from a spiritual perspective. Susan is also an author. Her best known book is In the Shadow of God's Wings: Grace in the Midst of Depression, published by The Upper Room. This book shares her very personal story as she has struggled with severe depression. Susan and her husband were interviewed for the ABC-TV documentary, "Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness."

Visit her website

Susan will be the DVD, Creating Caring Congregations and Mental Health Mission Moments

 


 




FRI AFTERNOON
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Pacific
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Central
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern


Sherri Connell
Author, Founder of Invisible Disabilities Advocate,


Sherri Connell has led a very active life of working, singing and dancing in musicals, cheerleading, acting, modeling, lifting weights and riding her horse. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management, a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Leadership and a Minor in Liberal Arts.

Even though Sherri battled strep throat, the flu, bronchitis and pneumonia from the time she was 14, she was a very driven and goal oriented person. Nevertheless, at the age of 27 her life took a very sudden turn. During another bout with pneumonia, Sherri became paralyzed and so sick she could barely sit up. She was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and Late-Chronic Lyme Disease from a tick bite when she was 14. After years of therapy, she regained some mobility in her legs, but she remained unable to function on a daily basis with out assistance.

Despite the seriousness of Sherri's illness, people often had difficulty understanding how she could "look good" to them, even though she was very sick. For a goal oriented, talented, career driven person like Sherri, these notions were absolutely devastating.

It did not take long for Sherri and her husband, Wayne to discover that Sherri was not the only one grappling with these responses. As a result, Wayne founded, The Invisible Disabilities Advocate (a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization). Together, they have written the book, But You LOOK Good! A Guide to Understanding and Encouraging People Living with Chronic Illness and Pain. IDA reaches around the world to people living with debilitating chronic illness, pain and injuries with articles, pamphlets, booklets, links, a support group and more! Wayne is joined by several business and medical professionals on IDA’s Executive and Advisory Boards.

“Invisible Disabilities: What to Say, What Not to Say and How to Help” will be presented by Sherri Connell, BA, co-author of the book, But You LOOK Good! Connell knows first hand what it is like to contend with debilitating illness. Surprisingly to her, friends and family had difficulty understanding Sherri’s illness, because to them she “looked good.” Soon, she and her husband Wayne discovered Sherri was not alone. So, Wayne founded The Invisible Disabilities Advocate, a non-profit organization that reaches around the world to others living with chronic illness, pain, injury and disabilities.

Visit the websites:
The Invisible Disabilities Advocate | But You LOOK Good! | The Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign | Where Is God Ministries

The Invisible Disabilities Advocate is giving away 3 copies of the book written by Wayne and Sherri, But You LOOK Good!

 

 

 



FRI
LATE AFTERNOON

3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Pacific
5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Central
6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Eastern

Karen Whiting, Author

Karen Whiting, a mother of five and grandmother of four, writes and speaks to help families. She is an author of ten books and is a regular writer for Focus on Your Child. Her son has suffered from painful, constant headaches for six years. She loves to find creative solutions to make life easier for people.

Visit her website

 

 


FRIDAY NIGHT

5 p.m - 6 p.m. Pacific
7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Central
8 p.m. - 9 p.m. Eastern

Maureen Pratt, author
Peace in the Storm

Maureen Pratt is an award-winning author, popular speaker, and syndicated columnist who focuses her work on prayer, faith, and living with chronic pain and illness. She is a patient herself, living with lupus, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and autoimmune thyroid disease (among other illnesses!). Her most recent book is, Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness.

Visit her website

 

 

 

 
 
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National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week ™ is an official annual campaign sponsored by Rest Ministries
in collaboration with other sponsors. All information is Copyrighted, 2008, however, copies can be made and freely distributed as designed for and intended for advocacy partners for the purpose of representing National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week ™. If you have any questions, please email us for clarification.