Invisible Illnesses. Visible Hope.
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    Bringing Visibility To Invisible Illnesses.

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    Advocacy. Awareness. Support.
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    Together, We Are Zebra Strong.
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    Zebra Spotlights:

    A new zebra sharing their story each
    month to educate and inspire.

    A new zebra sharing their story each month to educate and inspire.

    Read Their Stories Here
    Our primary purpose is to receive and administer funds and charitable contributions for the education, prevention, treatment, and research of various invisible illnesses. We work to bring visibility to invisible illnesses.

    Click to donate below or learn more about our partnership with University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC).
    We welcome donations through financial contributions and volunteering. You can donate on our website, or contact us at to learn more about how you can become involved. We thank you for helping us make a difference.

    What are Invisible Illnesses?

    An invisible illness includes a physical, mental, or neurological condition that is not visible from the outside. These cause limitations or challenges in one’s movements, senses and activities. People with rare, chronic diseases often spend years searching for a diagnosis. These diseases fall under the inclusive term “Invisible Illnesses,” and people living with them are repeatedly dismissed, turned away, or not believed because they look “normal.” Thousands of illnesses and disorders can be debilitating and potentially included under this umbrella.
    In Memoriam Losing a loved one to an invisible illness can be incredibly difficult. Over the years, we have experienced people who are a part of our “zebra” community pass away. We would like to acknowledge these individuals and their families, and dedicate this site and our work to them.
    In Memory of: Jeff DeLine Ralph Stephens Lynn Romo Marguerite Jaskolski Lauren Shuler Becca Centilli Mary Willard
    “My disability is invisible, but it is a disability nonetheless. I am proud to be a member of the invisible disability community, and look forward to the day when we are accepted as full members of society by friends, family, employers, and especially the medical community.”

    -Tiffany Ann Clark, Lupus SLE and Hughes Syndrome
    “The adoption of Invisible Illness Awareness Week in Michigan is an important step in getting dialogue started in the community.”

    -Katie Dama-Jaskolski, Ehlers-Danlos, POTS, Gastroparesis
    “Just believe the patient. Two ears for listening, one mouth for talking. Listen to the patient speak, more than you read & trust their electronic chart.”

    -Mandy Lynn
    “When you're the caregiver of a zebra, you should be awarded an Oscar for the convincing demeanor and stoic face when they ask you if things will get better… There are days when you just aren't sure, yet you still promise they will.”

    -Barbara Thompson, Caregiver to someone living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
    “I never imagined my illness would teach me how to be more patient with others, but it has. When no one can see the cause of your pain, some start assuming you are lazy or crazy leaving you with a choice; get angry, or learn patience.”

    -Mark Ferrin, Psoriatic Arthritis
    “Awareness + Education = Informed Citizens Supporting Others”

    -Kim Perch, Dysautonomia
    “I forget words, I get nasty headaches, I lose feeling BUT as any Zebra knows, our illnesses DON'T define us, WE do!”

    -Theresa Navalta, Crohns, Multiple Sclerosis, Ankylosing Spondylitis
    “I will continue to do what I can, when I can. Just please don't tell me that I can't be sick because you saw me out last week, or because I am always smiling. You don't know what that costs me every day. You don't see me with my doctors or know what it takes for me to be able to function. Please show grace. Know that there is more to this journey than what I show you. Invisible illnesses are called that for a reason.”

    -Robin Neil, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Sero-Negative rheumatoid arthritis