Updated: Jun 26, 2020
96% of Americans with chronic illnesses show no outward signs of their condition, and 10% of those people are considered to have an invisible disability that limits their day-to-day activities. There are over 7,000 rare diseases that affect 350 million people globally, many of which are part of the invisible illness community. Yet, many of these patients are often overlooked, as they appear and behave like any healthy individual.
Five years ago, I was diagnosed with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), an autoimmune disease in which mast cells are inappropriately triggered and release chemicals like histamine that stimulate allergic reactions and inflammation. Both before and after receiving a diagnosis, I was ridiculed by peers and even doctors that did not believe I had developed such severe food allergies. I learned to hide my condition as best as I could, but now as a rising sophomore in college, I have come to appreciate all of the opportunities that MCAS has provided me.
MCAS has influenced almost every aspect of my life, both in positive and negative ways. While it has made learning to live on my own for the first time more challenging, it has taught me to be more appreciative of my family and friends. It has demonstrated how imperative a support system can be, and I hope to foster that sort of supportive environment through this platform.
Whether you or a loved one suffer from a condition as common as diabetes, which affects 9.4% of the population, or a rare disease that affects less than .05% of the population, this organization is designed to help you through raising awareness, cultivating a strong community of invisible illness warriors, and fundraising for translational research conducted as a means of devising new treatment options for patients.
I want to utilize my experiences to help others that struggle with an invisible illness. I want to help destigmatize chronic, rare, and mental health issues that plague hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
How can you get involved?
You can share your story too! I am starting a special series as part of the weekly blogs in which I interview others that have struggled with an invisible illness. If you are interested in sharing your experience, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am also holding a printed-collage fundraiser to raise money for invisible illness research, Custom-made collages can be printed and shipped to your doorstep, and 100% of the proceeds will go towards scientific research funding. Fill out this form and you will be contacted for confirmation: https://forms.gle/faEuEiuzZ2vL4XUS7.
There is an open forum on our website where you can ask questions and share your thoughts regarding invisible illnesses. Everyone is welcome to participate in discussions.
Follow our social media pages for updates! You can find us on Instagram @theinviziblesorg and on our Facebook page, The Invizibles Org.
Members can contact us on our website or via email with any questions, comments, or concerns. We hope to hear from you.
Comment down below what you hope to see from The Invizibles as we begin this new journey together!
Invisible illnesses present hidden challenges; let's uncover and solve them together.