“Everyone is fighting a hard battle.”
Thanks to Katie Dama Jaskolski, of the Zebra Foundation, for speaking to our group. Katie explained her organization’s unique name by relating the fact that physicians are trained with the adage, “if you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” The problem with this approach is that your thinking is confined to the inside of the box and those with invisible illnesses are frequently forced to go through multiple doctors before someone is willing to look outside the standard box for a zebra instead of a horse. Invisible illnesses may not be visible but can be just as debilitating. Invisible illnesses include Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Interstitis Cystitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, just to name a few. The Zebra Foundation was formed as a result of the personal experiences of Dama Jaskolski and her sister following the onset of debilitating, unanticipated illness and their experiences in obtaining medical treatment. The goals of the Zebra Foundation is to educate the public on the existence of these invisible illnesses, advocate for change to help those who suffer from them, and to provide a support network for those afflicted.
Everyone is fighting a hard battle. Some battles we can see, others aren’t as readily apparent as others.