The Chronically Awesome Foundation has roots in the movement began by Julianna Shapiro when she decided that there was no way she could “silo” her condition. Oftentimes, when an individual is diagnosed with a chronic illness, that person finds that they have comorbidities, multiple chronic illnesses, or that soon they will develop other illnesses as a result of the initial illness. Julianna, having already been diagnosed with Bipolar II for many years found herself facing a new and very different challenge, and spreading her attention across several groups and organizations was often too exhausting. Spending her time blogging and expressing her feelings about her journey through her life with chronic illness could be done in one place with other bloggers, artists, writers, and creators of all kinds.
Julianna learned that at the core of all chronic illness we are faced with many of the same problems: a complete change in lifestyle, difficulty with work or finances, stigma, relationships, seeking diagnosis, and so much more. Most of us with chronic illness, no matter the illness, have much more in common than we realize. To silo illness, to separate illnesses out into their own special boxes, is not always necessary or productive.
Julianna started the Chronically Awesome movement in 2009 when she began to use the Twitter # (hashtag) #ChronicallyAwesome to self-identify, empower herself, and inspire chronically ill men and women across the nation. Julianna, and now the Foundation, have reached thousands of patients across the nation with its #chronicallyawesome twitter tag, Google Community, Facebook Chat Group, Blogging Community, and Chronic Chronicles podcasts. With no infrastructure or outside support, Chronically Awesome took off like a force of nature. It is a true grassroots movement founded by, run by and designed for members of the chronically awesome community. Meet our hard-working Advisory Board that makes our foundation possible.
Now, as a fiscally sponsored foundation, the Chronically Awesome Foundation, with the help of your memberships and donations, can reach out and provide services to those who need support. And, based on the science behind art therapy, Chronically Awesome creates an avenue for expression and healing.