top of page

Our Story

Invisible Illness Awareness Network (IIAN) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization started by Stephanie Miller and Sarah Hammes. They met at a Dysautonomia International Conference and wanted to make a positive impact on other people living with invisible illnesses. Both of them knew many people who had extreme diagnostic delays and they wanted to shorten this for future patients. Delays like these can lead to further complications, be very costly, and cause mental health struggles.

They started their journey of bringing awareness to invisible illnesses by creating a Registered Student Organization at Stephanie's undergraduate institution, Loyola University Chicago, called Invisible Illness Awareness at Loyola (IIAL) in 2021. There, they created a two-year program of rotating presentations that highlight different invisible conditions each month. Along with this program, IIAL has two meetings every month for students. At the first meeting of the month, student leaders share a presentation on the condition(s) being covered that month. They go over symptoms, diagnostic criteria, treatment options, co-morbidities, and other pertinent information. At the second meeting of the month, they host guest speakers that are either patients, medical professionals, or caretakers who share their experiences living with the condition(s), treating the condition(s), or taking care of someone with the condition(s) being discussed that month.

IIAN now has an affiliate organization at the University of Pennsylvania that is implementing that program. We are also currently working with students at other universities around the country to create more affiliates, especially focusing on schools with pre-health programs.

In addition to creating affiliate organizations, we want to spread awareness outside of the student population by working with other companies and organizations whose staff could benefit from learning the information in our program. We can present on topics including invisible illness, Disability, accessibility, accommodations, and more upon request. If your company or organization is interested in us presenting on a topic, please email us at Info@IIANetwork.org.

This organization could not run successfully with just Sarah and Stephanie; each of our board members have talents and experiences that make our organization impactful and important. Advocating for chronically ill, invisibly ill, and Disabled people is essential, especially in a world with Covid where many more have found themselves in these communities.

Join us as we embark on a journey of making the world more accepting and accessible for individuals living with invisible illnesses. Together, we can transform lives, inspire change, and raise awareness of these often-overlooked conditions.

Meet the Team!

bottom of page