Quick reference
Click here for a schedule by the day and hour


II Week Speaker
Guest Blogger
Donated Items
Blog badge/logo on web site

Lisa Copen

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. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis is 1993 at the age of 24, She eagerly anticipates how God will continue to use it, by reaching out to others who are hurting, as well as providing tools for churches who want to increase their awareness of chronic illness.

Send Lisa and Christine your questions in advance.


Kick off the Week with Lisa &
Christine Miserandino

Monday, Sept 8, 9 a.m. Pacific

Attorney Scott E. Davis

Mr. 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 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.

Wednesday, Sept 10, 3:00 p.m.
What You Need to Know
About Applying for Disability

Shelley Echtle

Shelley Echtle, 48, is the director of the North Texas Fibromyalgia Support Group. With 218 members enjoying weekly socials and monthly lectures, she seeks diversity in presentations and shares information from many sources she pulls from the internet and printed publication. She writes part time and believes healthy boundaries in a healthy life are important and even more so when you are chronically ill! Shelley suffers with Fibromyalgia, Spinal Stenosis, Hypothyroidism and Arthritis.Her mission in life is to be an encouraging thaumaturgies.


Tuesday, Sept 9, 5:30 p.m.
Healthy Boundaries with a
Chronic Illness

Laurie Edwards

Laurie Edwards is author of Life Disrupted: Getting Real About Chronic Illness in Your Twenties and Thirties (Walker) and founder of AChronicDose.com. She also teaches writing for the health professions at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

Friday, Sept 12, 3 p.m.
Friendships, Dating and Marriage: Can it All Come Together When You are Young and Chronically Ill

Jo Franz

Jo Franz is a conference/retreat speaker whose memoir Soar Unafraid: Learning to Trust No Matter What is the inspiring topic on frequent radio and TV programs. Though she has lived with multiple sclerosis since 1977 her life has been full of adventure. Her never-give-up attitude is a source of encouragement and blessing to those living with chronic illness as well as those who do not.



Tuesday, Sept 9, 3 p.m.
How You Can Help Those Who Help You!


Julie-Allyson Ieron

Julie-Allyson Ieron (pronounced: I-RUN) is a conference speaker and author. Her newest book is The Overwhelmed Woman’s Guide to … Caring for Aging Parents—a project she not only wrote, but lives on a daily basis. Her other books include: Praying Like Jesus, Staying True in a World of Lies, Conquering the Time Factor, and the Sisters in Faith Bible Study Series. Julie is passionate about coming alongside others to encourage them to pursue an ever-deepening relationship with Christ. She is a frequent guest on national radio and TV broadcasts.

Thursday, Sept 11, 9 a.m.
The Overwhelmed Woman's
(and Men's!) Guide to Caring for
Aging Parents

Jennifer C. Jaff

Jennifer C. Jaff, Esq. is Founder and Executive Director of Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness. She also has Crohn's disease. A 1984 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, when her disease disabled her and she turned her skills towards the internet and found a community of chronically ill patients in desperate need of legal advice and help. She started Advocacy for Patients then, when she was too ill to leave her home. Now, she serves patients full-time. She is the author of Know Your Rights: A Handbook for Patients with Chronic Illness, and Friday Tired: A Feminist Rant on Healthcare in America in the 21st Century, and she is the Chronic Illness Advocate on RevolutionHealth.com.


[get handout]


Wednesday, Sept 10, 9 a.m. Pacific
The Civil Rights of Patients with
Invisible Chronic Illnesses

Rosalind Joffe

Rosalind is career coach for people who live with chronic illness and her business, cicoach.com, is devoted to giving people the tools and resources 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 and has held management positions in small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. Ten years ago, she founded her own, very successful executive coaching business. She is the author of Women Work and Autoimmmune Disease: Keep Working, Girlfriend!


Tuesday, Sept 9, 9 a.m. Pacific
Assess Yourself:  Find the Job You Desire and Can Do Despite Illness Limitations

Jacqueline L. Jones

Stricken with disabling pain and fatigue, which interrupted a promising career as a journalist, Jacqueline L. Jones spent more than 20 years searching for the answers she needed to survive. This determination led her to more than 15 years of extensive research and to improved health.

Jones has developed a practical system, based on her experiences, that will teach you how to save time and money in seeking help for a chronic illness. She is author of Unmasking a Diagnosis: How to Find Help for a Confusing Illness Without Filing for Bankruptcy.

Download her handout here to help you follow along with the workshop easier. She has TONS of great information.

Monday, Sept 8, 5:30 p.m. Pacific
Secrets of Paying for Medical Care

Jeff Kenyon

Jeff Kenyon was born and raised in the Bay Area, CA. He is married his lovely wife Isabel of 13 years and they have an amazing, almost-4-year-old daughter named Adie. He was a top athlete in many sports throughout his life, healthy as a bull, but he became ill on April 18th, 2004 and then God blessed them with his baby girl on December 9th, 2004. He says, "It was all God's grace, love, church family and faithfulness that got us through it all. Through all the surgeries, emotional and physical pain, only God has been able to bring me to a place where I am totally dependent on Him and my goal is 'dying to self' everyday."

Friday, Sept 12, 2008
Join Jeff with Host, Lisa Copen for closing seminar of the week where Jeff will also share some illness issues from a man's perspective.

Linda Lundy

Linda says her very best motivation experience was being a gymnastic coach with Marta and Bela Karoyli. "The kids come first-no matter how you feel-you put a smile on your face, out your best foot forward, never sit down in the gym, and always have energy and enthusiasm to share." She is a cancer survivor and has a pituitary adenoma; which brings with it fibromyalgia, a non-functioning thyroid, migraines, etc. She says, "I know how to put one foot in front of the other and keep going!"

CANCELLED - Due to evacuation in TX
Get out of Bed!

Christine Miserandino

Christine Miserandino is a writer, speaker, patient advocate, wife and mother living in Massapequa Park, NY. Her writing which has won various awards has been featured in numerous newspapers, magazines, medical newsletters and television media. Christine is the founder of www.butyoudontlooksick.com, a website that provides resources and useful tips for living life to the fullest with a chronic illness. Through her website, Christine has created an online community that brings people together from all over the world to share their experiences, seek support, offer tips and advice, and create friendships. She has been living with lupus for over 15 years, and has been volunteering for the Lupus Alliance, Long Island/ Queens Affiliate for 12 years.

Send Lisa and Christine your questions in advance.

Kick off the Week with
Christine & Lisa Copen

Monday, Sept 8, 9 a.m. Pacific

Maureen Pratt

For more than 10 years, Maureen has written and spoken about health, prayer, faith, and living with chronic illness and pain. She has also lived most of her life"in the trenches" as a patient who has lupus, cardiovascular disease, vasculitis, scoliosis, fibromyalgia, thrombocytopenia, and chronic asthma and allergies (to name a few)! Through it all, God is great -- and she is eager to share practical, positive ways to increase our faith, hope, and joy.

You can email her questions in advance.

RESCHEDULED: Friday, 9 a.m. pacific
Stress-Busters that Work: Faithful and Fun Ways to Lessen Stress and Encourage Hope and Health

Jenni Prokopy

As Founder and Editrix of ChronicBabe.com, I reach thousands of women every day with messages of hope - and teach them how to maintain their sense of self despite health-related limitations. Almost 2,000 people read my enewsletter every other week, and approximately 1,000 visitors come to the site every day. I love helping others and I know I have a commanding message of hope and inspiration to share.

Wednesday, Sept 10, 12 p.m. Pacific
Overcoming Self-Defeating Behaviors

Trish Robichaud


Have you recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness? Do you feel lonely and confused?

Trish & Jeff have both been where you are today and can guide and empower you to emerge on the other side of the journey with the strength and determination to make the best of your life.

Trish Robichaud is a Disability Awareness Coach, Maximum Life & Business Coach & Motivational Speaker. She lives with major depression and multiple sclerosis. To learn more about Trish and Changing Paces, and to download her free 30-minute motivational audio, visit http://www.ChangingPaces.com

Jeff Cadwell

Jeff is a Professionally Certified Life Coach, Radio Show Host, Speaker and Author. Jeff lives with multiple sclerosis as well. For more information about his products, programs and other services, please visit his website at http://www.JeffCadwell.com


Thursday, Sept 11, 5:30 p.m.
After the Diagnosis: The Journey Beyond

Connie Roberts

Connie has multiple chronic illnesses and has been blogging since April, '07. She now writes 3 of her own blogs, co-authors 2 other blogs, and works for various companies as a sub-contractor doing paid reviews. By writing she uses her creative energy, is able to be an advocate for people with disabilities of all types including those of us with invisible chronic illnesses and earn extra money. It is not only personally fulfilling but helps her to feel that she can contribute to her family's income again. She says, "I have taught people how to get into the world of blogging. They now earn money and reap the benefits that I do too."

Thursday, Sept 11, 12 p.m.
How to Get Paid to Blog

Lynn Royster
Paula Kravitz

Lynn Royster, joined with Paula Kravitz

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

Tuesday, Sept 9, 3 p.m. Pacific
College with Chronic Illness: How to
Get Help and Respect from
Administrators and Faculty

Jennifer Saake

Jennifer has lived 18 years of illness, with infertility for 10 of those years. Balancing both conditions includes: medication side effects (illness meds on fertility and fertility meds on illness), questioning sanity of wanting desperately to have children yet fearing how she would care for them when she can hardly care for herself, facing the frustration of attempting adoption when her health makes her less "marketable." She has written a book on infertility and loss and is praying about someday writing a book on living with chronic illness.

Tuesday, Sept 9, 12 p.m. Pacific
Medications, Illness, Fertility and
the Desire for Motherhood

Leslie Vernick

Leslie is a a Christian counselor, doing most of her work with relationship problems. She focuses on improving our relationships with others, God and self, teaching people how to address conflict, speak the truth in love, handle adversity in a God-centered way and negotiate through difficult and destructive relationships with biblical principles.

Monday, Sept 8, 12 p.m.

Christina J. Werdebaugh

Christina J. Werdebaugh is the Director and Support Group Leader of the West Virginia IC Resource Center. She is an alumnus of West Virginia University, and enjoyed many years of working nine-to-five before her failing health forced her to leave the daily grind due to severe Interstitial Cystitis (IC). Her health is further complicated by lyme disease, which depleted her immune system and caused vast systemic damage. After becoming disabled and homebound, Christina felt God's calling on her life to create a local support network for IC patients, and the West Virginia IC Resource Center was born.

Wednesday, Sept 10, 5:30 p.m. Pacific
Support Groups: The Changes and Challenges They Will Bring to Your Life

Michele Williams

Michele has lived with chronic illness for over 23 years. Unfortunately, she knows first hand how it effects the family. Being in the ministry for over 34 years, she has ministered to many people with some form of chronic illness and even death. She has a daughter recently diagnosed with autoimmune hives and fibromyalgia. Her daughter also suffers from bipolar along with her 13-year-old son. Michele has had first hand experience on how illness can effect one's faith. She says, "But most importantly, I do not know how I would have been able to go through any of this without my faith. My faith has brought me through some very difficult times."

You can email her questions in advance.

Friday, Sept 12, 12 p.m.
Illness and Faith: Does Faith
Make a Difference?

Sign up for II UPDATES & get 40 pages of Beyond Casseroles Book



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.