Why believe? Why believe someone is ill and in pain when their appearance and circumstances seem otherwise? Or maybe the real point is that their body is crying out in pain and the brain fog comes and goes between moments of brilliance and loss for words. How can we determine the extent of someone’s injuries and illness by just looking at them?
The reason IDA was founded as an organization is for this exact purpose – to believe. IDA believes and supports people living with disabilities (no matter type, severity or cause). For many, this loving compassion eludes them when their debilitating illness, pain, fatigue, cognitive disorders and mental conditions seem invisible to others. A small example of these types of conditions are Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Dyexisla, Lyme Disease, Dysautonomia, Hearing Impairment, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Autism, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Bipolar Disorder, Agoraphobia, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), Cancer, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia and thousands of others.
We believe when these people tell us what they can and can’t do each day. Sometimes we have our ideas of how much a person with illness or disability should be able to accomplish for it to be truly real. Yet, how many songs and books and movies and works of art have been created by people throughout history in pain and illness? Each person with illness and pain has different symptoms and therefore has varying levels of ability and disability and these can come and go throughout their life.
Believing a loved one when they say they are sick or in pain is the most important thing we can do. Just because we can’t see from the outside, what they are battling on the inside, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Belief, validation and support can give a friend or family member the strength they need to continue the fight!
IDA’s mission is to encourage, educate and connect people and organizations touched by illness, pain and disability around the globe. We encourage these amazing people by honoring others making a difference in their lives. Every October, we host our Annual Honor Awards Banquet and the recipients of the Honor Awards exemplify this difference. They reach out to others with a helping hand or in some cases their positive impact is born out of their own personal experiences with illness and pain.
IDA seeks out keynote speakers who can provide a message of hope and understanding such as Kris Harty, Karyn Buxman, Ed Hearn, and this year’s keynote, Luis Carlos Montalván with his service dog Tuesday. Each of these speakers has lived the journey either as a caregiver or personally in pain and/or illness themselves. They bring real world experiences and understanding to the attendees. Their struggles and triumphs with their invisible journey serve to uplift as well.
IDA will never stop believing them and we hope others will do the same. Our goal is not to judge the cause or extent of illness and pain, but to lend a helping hand, a listening ear and an understanding heart. Let us love first! We envision a world where people living with illness, pain and disability will be INVISIBLE NO MORE®! Won’t you join us please?