With the release of its eighth edition of the INvisible Project on April 15, U.S. Pain is tackling the stigma of medical cannabis. The issue features the raw but often inspiring stories and photos of 10 individuals using cannabis to help manage their chronic health issues.
The INvisible Project was first published in 2010 as a way to create more awareness about the trials and triumphs of people living with pain. Last year, an estimated 65,000 copies were distributed. Patients’ stories are also featured on displays, which are then exhibited at conferences and events across the country.
The INvisible Project: rheumatoid arthritis/rheumatoid disease (RA/RD) edition is now available in print and online.
The publication includes profiles of 10 people living with RA/RD, showing the reality of life with pain, and why people with RA/RD need and deserve more help, treatment options, and research. The goal is to create public awareness and offer hope to other pain warriors living with RA/RD.
As the flagship program of the foundation, the INvisible Project unveils the truth about what it means to live with pain and thrive despite it. In an effort to support disease-specific communities, the latest edition of the project focuses on migraine disease — coming out just in time for Migraine and Headache Awareness Month in June! (For information about getting involved with Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, check out this article from last month’s eNews.)
For seven years, the INvisible Project has brought to light the often-hidden challenges faced by those with chronic pain. Now, the campaign is expanding its mission by increasing to two editions this year and working to highlight specific patient populations. The two editions will focus on migraine disease and rheumatoid arthritis disease. The issue on migraine disease will be published next month.
U.S. Pain is pleased to announce it will be sponsoring an exciting new film project, “Becoming Incurable.” The film explores the stories of three patients living with incurable diseases: dystonia, ankylosing spondylitis, and lyme disease.
Victoria Suan, the film director, says the first iteration of the film, “Inside Incurable Lives,” was, in part, inspired by U.S. Pain. After speaking with U.S. Pain ambassador Suzanne Stewart, Suan decided to approach the foundation about sponsorship.
More than 500 people participated in the #MakeItVisible campaign during the month of October, reaching an estimated 400,000 members of the public. The campaign asked people to share a video or photo that made their invisible condition visible, using the hashtag, #MakeItVisible. For every photo or video shared, Healthline donated $5 to U.S. Pain in support of its mission, for a total of nearly $2,500.
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (Oct. 6, 2017)—Throughout the month of October, U.S. Pain Foundation is teaming up with Healthline on a campaign to bring awareness to invisible illness and raise money for a good cause. The request: share a photo or video that makes your chronic condition visible on social media with the #MakeItVisible hashtag. Make sure the post is public, not on private or friends-only settings.
City & State: Eustis, Florida
Age: 53 years old
Pain Warrior role: Advocate since 2014
What type of health conditions you live with: Central pain syndrome post-stroke, stiff person syndrome, Grave’s disease post-thyroid cancer, hypercoagulation
What is your favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “There’s always a way! No matter your circumstance, keep looking until you find what works for you. Find you tribe, your support community and continue searching for that better quality of life. With technological advances progressing, there are more choices and resources to help pain patients than ever before. And never lose your sense of humor.”
Members of the pain warrior community came together June 2 for U.S. Pain’s third annual “Real Hope, Real Heroes” gala in Scottsdale, AZ. This year’s event specifically honored participants in the migraine and rheumatoid arthritis/rheumatoid disease editions of the INvisible Project.
Guests were surprised with a special appearance from Karen Duffy, an actress, TV personality and model best known for her work as an MTV video jockey in the 1990s and from roles in hit movies like “Blank Check,” “Reality Bites,” and “Dumb and Dumber.” Duffy lives with chronic pain as the result of sarcoidosis, a rare disease that impacts the brain and central nervous system. She has become an advocate for the chronic pain community and is the author of two books, including “Backbone: Living with Chronic Pain without Turning into One.”
City & State: Leesburg, Virginia
Age: 59 years old
Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain ambassador since 2017
What type of health conditions you live with: I am living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, SLE Lupus, Type 2 diabetes, migraines, and chronic back pain.
What is your favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “My tip would be to keep a spirit of peace. I believe our attitude has a lot to do with our healing process. For me, I try to extract something good. Pain never feels good but doesn’t have to overpower you.”