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Press Release – Colorado-based Invisible Disabilities Association honors outstanding individuals and organizations at fourth annual awards banquet in Lone Tree, Colo., October 02, 2011.

Parker, Colo.—September 18, 2011Luis Carlos Montalván will be the special guest speaker at the Invisible Disabilities Association’s 2011 Honors Banquet. Luis is the New York Times Bestselling Author of “Until Tuesday – A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him.” He is a 17-year veteran and former Captain in the U.S. Army, where he earned the Combat Action Badge, two Bronze Stars, and the Purple Heart. Luis will be sharing his amazing story of the “war after the war” with invisible disabilities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and how his service dog, Tuesday, has given him hope and healing.

Millions of Americans have unseen, life-altering and often painful medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, lupus, Lyme disease and fibromyalgia.  In addition to enduring chronic pain and facing the physical challenges of their diseases, many people with “invisible disabilities” also face misunderstanding, critical judgments and discrimination from people who don’t understand their medical conditions.

“One of the most common things my wife hears is, ‘But you look good!’ ”said Wayne Connell, founder and president of the Invisible Disabilities Association. “Even people who knew and loved Sherri just didn’t understand what she was going through.”

Sherri Connell led an active life as a singer, dancer, model and actor who enjoyed riding her horse. However, due to multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease and multiple chemical sensitivities, she now struggles to take a shower, get a meal or go to a doctor’s appointment.

“There is a tremendous need to raise awareness about diseases and chronic conditions that have significant impacts on people’s lives, but are not physically apparent,” said Connell.  “Even people close to you may not understand what you are going through if you have a debilitating condition, because on the outside, you look the same.

Connell adds, “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 works closely with disease support organizations, medical professionals and businesses to help encourage, educate and connect tens of thousands of people each month who live with debilitating conditions, as well as their loved ones.

The annual awards banquet is an opportunity to raise awareness and funds, and honor individuals and organizations making positive contributions to understanding and treating invisible disabilities.

2011 honors award recipients include:

Banquet details:

Date: Sunday October 02, 2011

Place: Marriott Denver South 10345 Park Meadows Drive Lone Tree, CO

Time: 5:30 Registration & Silent Auction – 6:15 Dinner & Program

Tickets $50 per person. Corporate sponsorships available. Live and silent auction items needed.

Business or dressy attire.


The Invisible Disabilities Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Parker, CO which encourages, educates and connects people and organizations touched by illness, pain and injury around the globe through its website, online social network, literature, projects and seminars.  For more information, visit