Our Founder's Story
Growing up, Dominique Viel always desired to give back. From volunteering in nursing homes, to fundraising for causes like girls education in India and orphan children in Uganda, the philanthropic lifestyle has been second nature. It wasn't until many years ago, when Dominique was a teen, that this hobby became her life's work.
As a competitive tennis player for eight years, Dominique was constantly on the court, her priority was getting scouted for universities, any injuries were not. But one early morning practice injured her dominant left hand and Dominique's dream was gone in an instant.
Doctors diagnosed her with a neurovascular condition that developed from when the nervous system is damaged, essentially its ability to heal is compromised, forcing the nervous system to continuously recycle massive injury. After unsuccessful treatments for years, countless specialists, procedures, even a surprise spinal correction and fusion surgery, Dominique's health kept declining and her chronic illness spread throughout the entire left side of her body.
All the while Dominique worked hard to graduate high school and go to university--she graduating from Saint Joseph's University with two Bachelors of the Arts degrees in English-Writing and International Relations. As she got older, her chronic illness journey began affecting other organ systems yet after years of treatment and hard work, Dominique's chronic illnesses subsided into her "new normal" way of living life with them, a life where she found her purpose through her health chaos.
Dominique's idea for InvisiYouth Charity stemmed not just from her own experience as a young adult patient, but from seeing other youth with the same struggle: being invisible to the pediatric and adult healthcare communities as they are forced to find their way through teen/young adult life with any health struggle on their own.
Building an improved atmosphere that will help these young people, or medically adult-ish™ people as InvisiYouth has coined the term, was the inception of InvisiYouth Charity. This personal goal to provide lifestyle tips and fun virtual resources and leadership programs for teens and young adults with all chronic illnesses/disabilities, whether physical or mental, visible or invisible, has now been supported by thousands around the world. These young people in pediatric healthcare too, or teeniatrics® as InvisiYouth has coined the term, now have a place to go so they can navigate and live their lives with illness or disability with ease and fun.