Lisa Copen is a force to be reckoned with. Although she has Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, she is the leader of the National Invisible Chronic Illness Week aka Invisible Illness Week. She also runs Rest Ministries, which is an online support group for people with chronic illness.
Lisa was diagnosed at 24 with Rheumatoid Arthritis so she can understand what it is like to be a young person facing a life long disease. She feels exhausted a great deal of the time and her hands and feet hurt most of the time. In fact right after last year’s Invisible Illness Week, she had to have surgery on her foot. She continues to have issues with infections as well as the ongoing pain.
Although Lisa is found everywhere on the web, she does have a personal life too. She is married and has a 6 year old son. She openly shares about the struggles she goes through on a daily basis, but those issues are tempered with her strong Christian faith and the support she receives from her family and friends both online and in real life.
Invisible Illness Week is September 14 – September 20th this year. It will be an online conference like last year, held on Blog Talk Radio. This allows people from all over to attend, as well as those who may be unable to due to sickness. Some of the speakers and topics this year include:
- Coping with Chronic Illness in Your Marriage with Bill & Pam Farrell
- Can Versus Should: Pregnancy, Children and Chronic Illness with Laurie Edwards
- Applying and Winning Disability Assistance When You Are Chronically Ill with Scott Davis
- Being a Teenager with a Chronic Illness with Naomi Kingery
There will be time for phone calls, questions and chances to win prizes. There are many ways that you can help. For example, you can blog about II Week, donate a prize, or hand out brochures.
Lisa Copen leads by example. Being chronically ill herself, she volunteers to provides awareness about a subject (Invisible Illness) that many people do not understand or even knows exist. She shares her personal struggles and her triumphs. She has a sense of humor about what comes her way.
She supports others in similar situations through her online work, her empathy and her kindness. She is always willing to share the limelight and gives credit to those who assist her in her work.
One of Lisa’s favorite scriptures that she hopes encourages others is “My comfort in my suffering is this: promise preserves my life.” Psalm 119:50
This is an ongoing effort to spotlight people with chronic illness, health issues and disabilities who are making a contribution in some way despite their pain, sickness, etc.