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Your Disease Sucks, but Your Awareness Swag Shouldn't
When I first decided that I wanted to live an open and honest lifestyle with my Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (now JA), I couldn't find shirts or awareness swag that I actually wanted to wear in public. Everything I found on Etsy or Google looked like something a 70-year-old would wear. Just because I had the "old people's disease", didn't mean I had to look like one.
When I became a designer, I promised myself to change the way I wore my heart on my sleeve by creating a line of products, including clothes and accessories, that would rock the whole autoimmune disease and chronic illness awareness thing with a young adult flare. Then I thought, "give the people what they want!" I may have an old person's disease, but my Spoon Theory, Arthritis, IBS, autoimmune disease, and chronic illness awareness items shouldn't have to look old, nor should your's.
I've dreamt of this line since graduating college in 2015 and I'm finally making this dream happen. I hope you enjoy my new product line and, as a thank you for your support, you can take $2 off your purchase by clicking the "I Need Dis" button below.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT WHY YOU'RE VISITING TODAY
Every warrior needs a bit of help here and there, so it's ok to be honest with yourself. Why are you here?
I Need Tricks for
Adulting Better, in general, with My Diseases
I Need Help Navigating Through My Career
with a Disability
I Need Help
WHAT'S THIS "FREE TIME" THING?
I'm too busy volunteering
When I fill out dating apps, I put that my favorite place on Earth is Arthritis Camp. #noshame
I get lots of questions, especially on my Instagram. Here's what I'm asked most:
I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 13 months old. Until I was 19, I lived in complete denial of having a chronic illness. So, "Chronically Jill" means accepting my disability as part of my identity. I may have this disease forever, but it's shaped me into who I am as an artist and person.
Actually, no. This is my "expensive hobby". During the day I work as a graphic designer in the Portland, Oregon area. I love my firm-- they embody my same values for their clients as I do mine. I think that working for them has helped shape me into the young professional I am today and without them I would not be nearly as successful as I am today.
I started and stopped multiple times, but I technically began in 2013 on Wordpress and YouTube before it was really cool and well-known. I made many fun videos and posts and ended up losing sight of my blogging goals when I was accepted into design school. Since I supported myself and paid for school myself, blogging was never a priority. It wasn't until 2016 that I began an Instagram for my chronic illness to meet others like me and 2018 that I began a full-on blog again.
You've probably seen me fairly active on Instagram. I love going to Arthritis Foundation events and even made a debut on TV with them in the 3rd grade. Now I travel to family and children's JA camps, such as Camp Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Camp JAM. This year I was chosen as the Young Adult Honoree for the Arthritis Walk in Vancouver, Washington. My best success this year in my chronic illness community to date though has been speaking at the National Juvenile Arthritis Conference on the Young Adults Panel and the Parents Panel.
i Made a goal to raise 2K for the arthritis foundation this year
Proceeds from my shop go directly towards meeting this goal
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You don't walk around saying "Hi, I'm Jill and I'm disabled"
Let people ask you: What's with the spoons?
Which is why you need someone else to ask to make it less awkward. But, they can't just ask you-- "hey, what's with the cane?"....That'd be rude or unprofessional. So, what CAN they ask you about?
They can ask you about your swag! You then have an open door to tell them why there are spoons all over your office supplies, what a "Spoonie" is, and most importantly, why this term applies to you.
When I became a designer, I made a promise to myself that one day I would use my design skills to spread awareness about the larger part of myself-- the part that I hid from my friends for far too long.
Don't live hiding like I did. Embrace your illness and spread awareness sooner than later with these cute swag items.
Part of proceeds go to the Arthritis Foundation to support
Your name and bio would go here!
Interested in supporting my mission? Learn how to become a featured sponsor today!