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, criticism and discrimination from people who don't understand their medical conditions, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) (http://www.allsup.com/about-ssdi/free-ssdi-evaluation.aspx?=PRW10-7) representation and Medicare plan selection services.
Allsup is recognizing Disability Awareness Month in October by sponsoring the Invisible Disabilities Association's (IDA) (http://www.invisibledisabilities.org/) annual awards banquet in Lone Tree, Colo., Oct. 10, and distributing free Disability Awareness Month posters (http://allsupcares.com/Portals/6/2010-National-Disability-Awareness-Month-poster.pdf?=tv10-14).
"One of the most common things my wife hears is, 'But you look good!' "said Wayne Connell, IDA founder and president. "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.
IDA works closely with disease support organizations, medical professionals and businesses like Allsup to provide encouragement, support and assistance to tens of thousands of people each month living with debilitating conditions, as well as their loved ones.
"Allsup is pleased to collaborate with IDA and sponsor this year's banquet (http://www.invisibledisabilities.org/seminarsandevents/honorsbanquet/)," said Allsup CEO and founder Jim Allsup. "We commend their efforts to increase awareness of the particular challenges faced by those whose disabilities are not readily apparent. Education and advocacy are keys to ensuring inclusion, understanding and compassion."
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. This year's keynote speaker is former New York Mets catcher Ed Hearn, who is also receiving IDA's Perseverance Award in recognition of his battle with multiple life-threatening health conditions.
Allsup is helping to shine the light on all disabilities with free Disability Awareness Month posters, available at AllsupCares.com (http://www.allsupcares.com/request-materials.aspx#posters) or by calling Karen Hercules-Doerr at (800) 854-1418, ext. 5770.
ABOUT ALLSUP Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs nearly 700 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, visit www.Allsup.com.
ABOUT IDA 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 www.invisibledisabilities.org.
Contact: Karen Hercules-Doerr Allsup (800) 854-1418 ext 5770 K(dot)Hercules-Doerr(at)Allsupinc(dot)com
Wayne Connell Invisible Disabilities Association (720) IDA-1144 wayne(at)invisibledisabilities(dot)org
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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Allsup/disability_awareness/prweb4601234.htm.