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InvisiYouth Launches its First Annual Global Brand Leaders Program

By Dominique Viel

March 30, 2018 

This month, InvisiYouth Charity launched its first ever Global Brand Leader Program, a coalition that consisted of accomplished teens and young adults from across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, which focuses on activism and fundraising campaigns.

These are a select group of youth that are all leaders in their communities, from healthcare advocates and disability activists, YouTubers and social media influencers, to business owners and philanthropists. What unites them is not their diagnoses, but rather their passion to pay it forward, empower, crack stigmas and make a difference, all the while being young adults.

All our Brand Leaders are motivated and fun-loving individuals who contribute to their communities and in the health sector and beyond, and will work with InvisiYouth to mutually promote empowerment and raise funds for InvisiYouth’s programs that assist and embolden all young adults living with any illness or disability.

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And they get access to all our merchandise, partnership gifts, and programs before anyone else! The objective: further InvisiYouth’s mission into their neighborhoods, to broaden awareness and access to supportive InvisiYouth events and programs can continue to be provided for our growing international young adult network.

What inspired this program was our desire to get involved with even more youth around the world that connect with InvisiYouth and want to expand our reach.  We do so much work virtually, host events in multiple cities and it has been our desire to connect even more with the young adults that support InvisiYouth. 

What better way than to build a coalition of young adult rebel game-changers that will expand our grassroots efforts to support even more people in different countries, to bring our programs and events to more cities, and to support more youth. And we want to mutually support all the incredible work that is being done by so many young adults too, promoting their work to the world.

That is a major part of why we decided to create the Global Brand Leaders Program: we wanted to bring more awareness and support to the brilliant work and advocacy that’s being done by countless youth in so many countries, in hopes that by uniting them within InvisiYouth Charity—an organization that’s non-illness specific—we can tackle and overcome even more misconceptions about different illnesses and disabilities, both physical and mental.

Our motto: when we get this group to collaboratively work and motivate each other’s projects, to expand our own within them, InvisiYouth will be able to empower all young adults to gain their voice, confidence and tools to keep living the most fun and fulfilled lives with any health struggles. 

Our Global Brand Leader Program is annual, and we’re excited to have an entire new group joining this 2018-2019 class in May…so if YOU want to become a Brand Leader, to support InvisiYouth’s mission, get involved in some philanthropy, and get your projects a major platform of international exposure, we want to hear from you.  Contact us if you, or a friend you know, would be a great Brand Leader!

 


 

InvisiYouth Introduces New Celebrity Ambassador, Actress and Disability Activist Melissa Johns

November 27, 2017 

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InvisiYouth Charity is excited to announce its newest Celebrity Ambassador, British actress and disability activist Melissa Johns.  Best known for her role of Sade in BBC’s The Interceptor and most recent role of Imogen Pascoe on ITV’s Coronation Street, Melissa has been able to show her talents across England, and her star keeps on rising.

From Herefordshire, England, Melissa is a change-maker, and the entire team at InvisiYouth Charity feels so honored to have her support and enthusiasm to join our community and give back to the older youth population living with health struggles and disabilities.

Melissa was born without her right hand and forearm, and while having a limb difference has brought many challenges, but it has also made Melissa a strong advocate through her acting. Breaking barriers and owning one’s uniqueness is part of Melissa’s mission. 

She attended East 15 Acting School in London as one of a few actors with a disability accepted, won the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award as one of the first physically disabled actors, and has appeared on numerous theatre shows across the UK and TV series.

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What makes Melissa stand out to the InvisiYouth team is her passion to use her platform from her acting career to give back others living with a disability. With a fellow Coronation Street actor, Cherylee Houston, Melissa co-founded TripleC, a disability-led organization in England that uses drama and theatre workshops to enhance the lives of people living with disabilities.

Melissa is so passionate about giving back, motivating others and bringing change, so her enthusiasm to join the InvisiYouth family means the world.

"Becoming an ambassador for InvisiYouth is an incredible honour,” Johns said. “To work with a charity that advocate for teens & young adults with chronic illnesses/disabilities as well as provide programmes/events that support independence and empowerment means the world to me. I'll certainly do all I can to help these incredible individuals be anything but invisible."

From her role of Imogen on Coronation Street and her disability activism work, Melissa was recognized by the JCI UK Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award for breaking the mold and getting people with disabilities positively shown on stage and screen.  And she’ll even be working with modelling organizations to motivate change on positive body image for those with physical disabilities.

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Having Melissa Johns as a Celebrity Ambassador is something InvisiYouth Charity is so proud of because Melissa extends her mission to inspire other with limb differences.

 “Use what makes you different,” Johns said.  “Magnify it. Glorify it and use it to make the changes that you want to see.”

She is such a strong, proud advocate for this community, and we’re thrilled that Melissa will now be able to motivate older youth with all types of disabilities and chronic illnesses, as our new InvisiYouth Celebrity Ambassador. 

Her ability to inspire and shatter the stereotypes surrounding disability is amazing and we cannot wait to work more with Melissa in InvisiYouth’s work and help young adults navigate their life and feel empowered with health struggles or disabilities. 

 


 

Mighty Well and InvisiYouth Charity’s Chronic Illness Meet Up Takes on NYC

By Dominique Viel

November 19, 2017 

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Last week, InvisiYouth Charity cohosted a fun hangout event in downtown New York City with longtime philanthropic friend Mighty Well, a fashionable medical accessories company, that was open to all young people with chronic illnesses and their friends and loved ones.  

This meet-up was designed to bring together individuals with all types of chronic illnesses to meet new people, get some free swag, swap positive and funny illness stories, and get to know the missions of Mighty Well and InvisiYouth Charity better.

As Mighty Well promotes their company, build even more “friends in the fight” so the supporters (friends, family and caregivers) on the outside of illness can learn more supportive ways to communicate.

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photos courtesy of Mighty Well

The meet-up was focused on the topic of relationships and chronic illness. 

Both platonic and romantic, how to build and sustain relationships as older youth living with an illness or disability is one of the most asked questions for our community, especially InvisiYouth.

It was fun, interesting, and had lots of eye-opening moments and humor; that is key for both InvisiYouth and Mighty Well. We are all about changing the narrative tone around chronic illness: that it is meant to find the brightness and humor in life’s challenges with honesty, not focus on the negatives and struggles.

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The group was a big mix of ages, illnesses and relationships.  Some were couples, others singles, and some were friends coming to support. Their illnesses even ranged from the visible and invisible; like Lyme disease, lupus, neurovascular conditions, POTS, connective tissue disorders and mental health challenges.

Being able to bring together the ‘healthy’ friends and loved ones was critical because it allowed others to learn from each other and see how different relationships can be formed when living with chronic illness.  

For both InvisiYouth Charity and Mighty Well, meet ups and getting to know the older youth chronic illness and disability community is a main part of their work. 

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2018 will continue to grow in their philanthropic missions, with Mighty Well’s new products and InvisiYouth’s new programming and events, next year will be a great addition for both.

Keep up to date on all of what InvisiYouth Charity and Mighty Well have in store by following their social media:  InvisiYouth on social media at @invisiyouth and Mighty Well on Twitter @livemightywell and Instagram @mightywell_

And if you want to be part of InvisiYouth’s new programs and events, make sure to contact us and we’ll send you more information and even help you design your own InvisiYouth event or fun mini-fundraiser!

 

 


 

InvisiYouth Celebrity Ambassador Competing on Dancing with the Stars Season 25

September 18, 2017 

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The entire InvisiYouth Charity Family is beyond excited to be cheering on our very first Celebrity Ambassador, ESPN correspondent and Paralympic medalist Victoria Arlen as she competes for the mirror ball trophy on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, starting tonight, 8pm EST. 

As one half of the now #TeamViVa, Victoria is partnered with two-time winner of DTWS, Val Chmerkovskiy, and the two have been blowing up social media with their infectious laughter and fun dance parties at their dance rehearsals. The 22-year-old former Paralympic swimmer, who is also a correspondent on ESPN, will definitely be taking her uplifting personality and athletic training mindset into the competition as she competes to take home the mirror ball. 

For InvisiYouth Charity, it is an amazing opportunity to watch our ambassador showcase her story of fighting through health struggles and trying to always push herself to reach new goals for her health and life.  The entire USA will be empowered by Victoria’s story as well as her beautiful spirit on life, just like all of us at InvisiYouth were when we were introduced to Victoria last spring.  You can learn more about her story and why Victoria is our ambassador on our website here.

Victoria Arlen empowers so many young people at InvisiYouth Charity.  We adore her passion to give back and motivate others how to build each other up and support each other through health struggles and chronic illness.  She has relearned how to use so much of her body after her illness, like walking and talking, so to see her competing on DWTS, showing the world how you can adapt and achieve in life makes InvisiYouth super proud.  

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For those of our teens and young adults living with visible or invisible illnesses, Victoria Arlen is such a prime example of how to find your own way in life, to adapt to make sure you can continue conquering and achieving your dreams.  

One message that makes her such a true role model as an InvisiYouth Ambassador is her understanding that teens with chronic illnesses need to have support, to know they are not alone in their experiences and can learn from each other.  We hope more teens with illness will learn this from watching Victoria on DWTS!

Now…if you want to get on the InvisiYouth support team for Team ViVa, take down their voting number, and get it on speed dial! 1-800-868-3413!  We want to see Victoria and Val in the finals.  So vote, vote, vote!! 

And we want to hear from all of you too! Tell us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram what makes you motivated by Victoria and we’ll share it on social media!

 

 


 

And the Total is in! InvisiYouth's Charity Teams for England's Superhero Disability Triathlon Raised a Total of...

By Dominique Viel

September 8, 2017 

After months of fundraising, campaigning with family and friends and online through our GoFundMe Page, InvisiYouth’s Charity Teams that participated in England’s first inclusive disability adaptive triathlon have ended their fundraisers.

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We received donations online and donations in the mail and on our website’s donate page too! We are happy to announce that our Charity Teams fundraised a grand total of $1,000!

All these funds are going directly into building InvisiYouth’s new illness management tools and programs that will give back to so many teens and young adults with chronic illnesses.

These tools and programs will be unique, showing a wide older youth illness and disability community all the life hacks and tips to navigate life while living with illness, or as we call it, the nonmedical side to medial experiences. 100% these donations are going to help build them!

Each of our teams competed in three sports at the Olympic Dorney Lake in Windsor, England: swimming, running and cycling.  Different teams of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses came out from across the country, along with their supporters of friends and family (and sometimes dogs too), all who worked together to complete these events.  

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InvisiYouth Charity loves supporting disability sports and the way adaptive athletics can play such a critical role in the life of a teen and young adult living with chronic illness and disability.

It is a way to get them back into a routine, physical therapy, and teamwork mentality. It is a powerful force that needs more attention and support group to it!

Our teams consisted of lifelong friends, and competitive athletes in university, supporting their friend with a rare disease. Another team was filled with family members and siblings.

And we even had a married couple that are passionate physiotherapists and exercise therapists who want to work with InvisiYouth to train and bring adaptive sports to more older youth across England.

One InvisiYouth Team member, 21-year-old university student Katy Baker, felt the benefits of being part of Superhero Series Triathlon. 

“[The Superhero Tri] proved that people like me, with chronic illness, can take part in sports with their family and friends,” said Baker. 

Watching our teams cross the finish line at the Superhero Triathlon was unlike anything we could have experienced. So much joy and excitement from accomplishing their goal, and watching all the other youth, families, friends and supporters crossing the finish line and earning their medal.

It is clear to say that anyone can get so motivated watching such a strong group of people competing in all types of sport!

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Now…InvisiYouth Charity is happy to announce that we will also be part of the next Superhero Series event, the Winter WonderWheels on December 3rd at Dorney Lake once again!  This will be a massively festive disability adaptive sporting event where anyone can cycle, walk, run, push/be pushed around Dorney Lake for different distance challenges: 1km, 5km or 10km! 

AND WE NEED YOU TO JOIN OUR TEAMS!

We want to have a full set of teams so if you want to compete with friends and family FOR FREE, contact us, and we will sign you up for a fun and festive event to end 2017!