Women's History Month Roundup - 4 Chronically Ill BadAsses
How are we really doing today, y’all?
It’s so important to check in on one another and to keep our spirits lifted during this chaotic time. My goodness, 2020 has been a whirlwind, but I’m here to sprinkle a little positive energy on your day in honor of Women’s History Month. That’s right, it still exists. But the way “Auntie Rona” has had us quarantined this month, I think we’re gonna need a do-over. What do y’all think?
Anyway, I rounded up some fabulous CHRONICALLY ILL BAD-ASSES for you to tune in to this week to celebrate the work they are doing for women us.
Lauren “LoLo” Spencer – Those of you who have been following me for some time know how much I love Lauren “LoLo” Spencer. At 14, she was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (b.k.a ALS). Nineteen years later, she continues to be fun, fashionable and fly, but now as a Disability Lifestyle Influencer who educates about the disability, shares stories from her own experience and reduces the stigmas around living differently. “I’m not sad about my life,” she says, making sure that people don’t look to her with eyes of sympathy. She really soars – and whenever I’m feeling down about my circumstances, she’s an excellent resource to cheer me back up!
I’ve included her Insta handle above, her YouTube channel gives me life too. While you’re stuck in the house, jump into her videos. There’s plenty, but this new, “Corona Virus Quarantine Tips for Disability,” is a good place to start. 😊
Ellice Patterson – “She kept repeating that this was a professional company….”
Those were the last words Ellice needed to hear as she was rejected from a professional audition due to her disability. Her rejection birthed a company of her own – Abilities Dance Boston, which caters specifically to folks like us, who have disabilities. I’ve been a huge supporter since I found out about her brand a while ago. She flipped the script and made the choice to make a place for professional dancers that had never existed before and turned a rejection into a conception. Since 2017, Ellice and her company have been traveling, performing and “disrupt[ing] antiquated ableist beliefs and disseminate the value of inclusion through dance.”
Looking at her company in the flesh – leaping, twirling and moving rhythmically across the stage is a beautiful experience. Since shows are on a break right now, tune in digitally through videos on her YouTube channel like this one!
Jenna Green – While I might have a little bias, the need for y’all to support her is all the same. Meet my friend, confidant and fellow CHRONICALLY ILL BADASS who shares her life and story about living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). After struggling with “traditional life” as a 9-5er, Jenna found passion and purpose through advocacy for MS through her educational talks and her blog, Full of Grit and Grace. She supports those with chronic illnesses on her special Facebook group that allows members to chat, vent and help one another with the ongoing struggles and blessings of their chronic illness.
In addition to being a super informed resource, Jenna keeps my Insta-feed full of fun and encouraging photos. Don’t forget to follow her here!
Ashlee Nicole – Coming across Ashlee’s story really inspired me. Last year, on National Rare Disease Day, she started this Twitter thread about her experiences with Thrombocythemia, a rare blood cancer. Like many chronic illnesses, this one is something that you can’t see immediately – like a wheelchair or a walker, but the impact hits all the same. A serial entrepreneur, Ashlee runs her own blog, head of a Creative Agency and is an inspirational writer, helping women entrepreneurs struggling with depression and anxiety feel affirmed and supported.
Head to her blog and agency website to learn more about her story. Drop her a follow then grab your own copy of “I Am The Bag” here!
Have more #CHRONICALLYILLBADASSES to share? Drop their name and handles in the comments. We all want to celebrate and support. And let’s face it, we’ll be here for a while – put us on!
BIO: Keisha Greaves is a Chronically Ill Bad Ass herself. She was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School in 2003. After graduating from college, she went on to Bay State College and studied Fashion Design and received her Associate's Degree in Fashion Design and Retailing in May 2005. In September 2005, she decided to continue to study Fashion Design at Framingham State College and received her Bachelor's in Science in Fashion Design and Retailing. She now designs here own clothing line.