By Dominique Viel
February 7, 2017
This past October, InvisiYouth Charity hosted its very first set of events for teens and young adults with chronic illness.
InvisiEvents was a multi-city series with four fun activity-driven events hosted in four cities and two different countries all on the same day. These fun events were not just about providing some fun for youth, but it was about creating inclusivity and learning. Each youth was able to bring along a friend or sibling, with or without illness, so the InvisiEvents would allow for a more open environment. And during each city’s event there was a Q&A section where all the youth could discuss the ups and downs and funny stories in-between about teen healthcare.
The InvisiEvents were hosted across the US and UK, in Los Angeles, Chicago, New Jersey and London, England. With Founder Dominique hosting the InvisiYouth Charity-headquarters event in New Jersey, InvisiYouth was lucky enough to have three fabulous volunteer cohosts who devoted their time to helping in our other cities. Our LA event was assisted by the fierce “sick chick” leader, Shira Strongin, founder of the popular female health empowerment community, Sick Chicks. In the Midwest, InvisiYouth was happy to have YA powerhouse and a co-leader of We Are More Initiative, Emily Muller, working hard for Chicago. And across the pond in London, England, young adult healthcare transition activist, Hannah Philips, and creator of Hannah’s Heartbeat held down the fort.
Each city’s successful event had its own theme and with the power of social media, our #InvisiEvents hashtag let youth in each city interact with one another and share their memories.
At our #InvisiChicago event, the group of teens were able to chat and share some stories while checking out an awesome coffee shop. And over in the United Kingdom, our #InvisiLondon group of young people were able to make some fun memories while indulging in amazing food at a garden-themed lunch party.
On the East Coast, at #InvisiNJ, it was all girl power and lots of laughs during a cupcake decorating demonstration at a local bakery. And over at our sunny California #InvisiLA event, our group of young people had an exciting day exploring Downtown Disney.
Almost 40 youth came to our events with illnesses such as cardiac conditions, cystic fibrosis and RSD, to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, leukemia, OCD and more. And with all the group photos, it’s hard to decipher who are part of the InvisiYouth illness community and who are their supporters, given the large mix of visible and invisible illness. With humbling, positive feedback, InvisiYouth has decided InvisiEvents: Multi-City Series will continue for many years to come!
With more cities, more countries, more youth and bigger, better events, InvisiYouth hopes to take the successful teamwork from InvisiEvents and bring it to even more young people so they can have a day of fun outside their health struggles to make new friends, new memories and learn from each other.