Inspirational Stories

Inspirational Stories

Knock Back – Let Fly
“Take the pain and turn it into your purpose in the world.”

I was 16 when I had a surgery that would change my life. I was living on the top of the world. I had my grades in order, I got significant roles in the plays at school, and I was preparing for obtaining my permit. The surgery was done under both of my arms for containing a disease called Hidradenitis Suppurativa. After my surgery, I was doing alright. I had slight pain under and down both of my arms, but I never thought anything of it. I continued my life just how it was. I never attended physical therapy after the surgery. That was my first mistake.

Then, the beginning of my senior year, I had another surgery in the same place. After that surgery, I realized my pain had intensified over the 2 years. I realized I could no longer write or drive or simply brush my teeth without pain. That’s when the investigation began. I was tested for everything under the sun, it was all coming back normal. After 4 months, I was diagnosed at the VCU Children’s Hospital with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. I spent the rest of my senior year on both homebound and (when I returned) very shortened weeks. I didn’t know how to get through the sadness of having a disease like this.

That’s when I developed my foundation: Knock Back-Let Fly. I figured if I am 18 and feeling like I am sitting around not able to do anything, how do children in a hospital feel? My foundation provides small activities in a gift box to children in hospitals (as shown in picture 1). So far, we have been able to deliver 45 boxes to the VCU Children’s Hospital of Richmond. My foundation is built off of donations from people on the GoFundMe page. I have also developed an Instagram as well as a Facebook page.

When we obtain enough money to create a reasonable number of boxes, we have a box creation day! People from all over come to our town library to create boxes, eat cookies, and discuss life. Knock Back-Let Fly gave me a new purpose. The more people who donate, follow the Instagram page, and share the Facebook page the more kids we can make smile.

Just remember, something special must come out of this horrible disease you, your family member, or friend have been diagnosed with. Don’t let it win. Fight back and make something of it. Show crps that IT. DOES. NOT. OWN. YOU. You will take the pain and turn it into your purpose in the world.

Alexis Byers

I Have A Whole Life To Live!
All it took, was a four hour surgery. Four hours of my life I was asleep for. Four hours I obviously don’t remember. From that very first cut, I had CRPS.

So I was 14 years old, competitively dancing, and jacking up my knee in the process. I needed surgery, but since I’m so young and we all know that children recover faster… I wasn’t worried. I would be walking in 6 weeks and dancing in 6 months, it’s not as long as it seems. The day of the surgery my surgeon asked me, “Are you nervous?” Being nervous hadn’t even crossed my mind! Everybody eventually needs surgery for something. I wake up four hours later, my leg completely numb and free of pain, just ready to sleep it off.

Then, about two weeks later, I was introduced to the unimaginable pain that comes with CRPS. I don’t know if it was the shock, the lack of sleep, or the agonizing pain but I barely remember the next 9 months of being introduced to this disease. I don’t remember the faces of the doctors who told me they didn’t know what was wrong with me, I don’t remember how many times it took to get an IV in during my 24th trip to the ER. Its one of those nightmares were its so scary that your brain powers down as your every nerve feels exposed and raw.

All it took, to get my diagnosis, was a trip to urgent care. After nine months of living in constant pain, I knew what was wrong with me. I was a prime example of CRPS, that was until my disease started to spread. Here we go again because, all it took, was three weeks after that to spread to my whole body.

Fast forward two years and this disease is still a complete mystery to me. CRPS is like the worst kind of magic, it is downright awful. How can a disease be this painful? How can a disease cause so many other diseases and problems? I know it took me a year and a half to learn how to walk again, six months on a feeding tube to be able to eat again, and halting my chest cut open to be able to diagnose my heart condition. But guess what? All it took, was 2 years and 4 months to be able to dance again. Three weeks ago I danced for the first time since I was diagnosed. No matter how many times I think about those four hours I can’t help but feel blessed. To be as strong as I am, to be alive, to able to see a future for myself with this disease. So those four hours ain’t got nothin on me, because I have a whole life to live.

Kindness and Love!
Our family lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. Not much is known about CRPS here. Our son Josh, twelve years old, had surgery on his foot to remove glass when he was 5 years old. We never expected what would come next. He cried with lots of pain after the surgery and this went on for weeks. Josh also has Autism and we were told to ignore him as it was a sensory issue. We did not believe that it was and searched for answers.

We were put into physiotherapy, brain training, and sensory desensitization of which nothing worked. Josh tippy-toed on his right foot for more than 2 years as it was too painful to weight bare, At age 7, Josh developed Kawasaki Disease at this time most of his body was in lots of pain and he cried out for help. We were told at this point that it was most likely Juvenile Arthritis. We were sent for more Physio and Rheumatologists. We were then told they did not think that it was JIA. So, the search continued. The children’s hospital did a telethon video of Josh at age 8. He was still tippy toeing. Again, we were told probably JIA and that he was still sore from tippy toeing on one foot causing the muscle to tense etc.

When Josh was 11, he dislocated his elbow and the excruciating pain was not adding up to the injury. He was then admitted to hospital where an orthopedic surgeon suggested that it was CRPS. Still not knowing much about treatments. We were told to just push him through the pain. It was the most traumatic thing we had to do as parents and for him. There were so many tears and fears. This is also when he was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and we were told that he was at high risk for dislocations and for this viscous cycle to continue as there was no cure.

Josh was put on Gabapentin and we were slowly watching our boy slip away. His memory was vanishing fast! Simple tasks and commands such as, “Get your shoes and jacket on for school” could no longer be followed. He had no clue what we wanted of him. At one time he could memorize a song by only hearing it once, now he wasn’t even remembering his own address. He started passing out and having very low blood pressures. We finally said enough of this medication. Though it was helping with his pain we were loosing our son. We got a new pediatrician as ours retired. She started him on Amitriptyline and he is doing much better. He is in remission. But, it took from the age of 5 till now.

We’re fearful everyday while we watch him play knowing that any bump, scratch or fall will take him out of remission. Even having been through all this Josh has never let it stop him from being an amazing individual. He is always putting others before himself. Music and dance is what got Josh speaking. At age 2 he could sing beautifully yet not speak till age 4. At age 4 he started singing on stages and working his way in to the hearts of many. He used his singing talents to overcome so many obstacles as well as using his voice to help raise over $300,000 for various charities.

At age 11, Josh won The Prince of Wales Youth Service Award from Prince Charles and The Human Rights Award for the work he does by educating people on how important it is to have an inclusive and accepting environment for all! At age 8 he won 1st place for performing arts youth at the World Autism Festival and Awards in Scotland. He has since returned two times as an Ambassador to Canada and winning two more awards, one for community achievement and a 2nd place entrepreneur award for performing and giving the money to charity. He was also featured in a documentary called Connected a film about autism which was viewed at film festivals in NYC, Hollywood, Scotland, Ukraine, BC Canada, Romania and other countries. He helped bring awareness to PTSD among first responders and has been a lead actor in a music video called “When Those Sirens Are Gone” by Kevin Davison. It won an award for Video of the Year at the Josie Awards and ECMA awards.

Josh’s most recent event was in Fredericton New Brunswick, Canada. He had heard that four individuals were shot, two being Fredericton police officers. He wanted to send a message to the families to show that kids like him really care and respect law enforcement and that he was sorry for their loss to such violence. Josh recorded a Police Hallelujah and posted it to facebook. Within a couple days it had over a half a million views and had reached the families. Josh had messages sent to him from police officers from around the world. Many expressed how the video that he made just may have saved their life from suicide that night that  as he was the light in the darkness they needed. PTSD was controlling their lives and that they just couldn’t see past the anger and hate. His video showed them love and respect.

In April, Josh was granted a wish from Starlight Children’s Wish Foundation and he thought of his sisters before himself here as well. He wanted them to experience Disney World with him on my birthday. It was the first time our family ever traveled all together and it is here that we learned that we did not know what having fun as a family was like. It was beyond magical! It was a week were he forgot about his pain and just had fun … until the night ended and he was swollen and hurting … but, was easily distracted by the thoughts and plans for his sisters for the next day! He has achieved more in his short 12 years of life that I could ever imagine and I an 44. He has touched millions by his kindness and love for all.

Each Day Is A Gift
On July 17 2003 at 1:10AM my life changed forever. I was hit standing by a drunk driver at 70mph while I was off duty trying to rescue a man trapped in a burning car. I ended up losing my career, my business, my home, my life savings and my 401k. As well as my wife who could not cope with my injuries. I now had a TBI, seizures and I had broke everything head to toe. The truck that hit me nearly tore my leg off and avulsed some of my nerves and circulatory and lymphatic system. I had crushed bone in both my knees and my clavicle and shoulder. I had pins in my hand and drains from my leg and the back of my shoulder. My ear had to be reattached. My head avulsion had been sutured. I had broken ribs, arms, legs and ankles and injured my cervical spine and my lumbar region of my spine had been compressed.

Due to the severity of my trauma I was now forced to become a retired disabled Firefighter-EMT and Public Safety Professional. I had also been a CEO for nearly 8 years of a private company that employed and contracted out 40 Police and Firefighter academy graduates to private companies, cities, counties and Government Contractors. I did attempt to return to work 3 times as a consultant and a volunteer in Fire Prevention and as a advocate for the homeless through a non profit. I nearly became homeless myself 2 years after Impact. I had to refrain from my attempts to return to work as the physical activity required caused me multiple reinjuries and at one point I lost my ability to walk again. This required more surgeries and procedures. My pain while trying to work was so severe the only thing that helped it was the distraction of more work. That ended up not being a positive in the end.

Since my unfortunate incident my full time job has been to advocate for myself to regain my physical abilities and to get my pain under control as well as do what I can to improve my overall health.

Over the last 15 years I  have been a Patient at the Stanford Health Pain Management Center in Redwood City & Emeryville in Northern California. To date I have had  a combination of 59 procedures, surgeries and a implant.

Most recently I have also had both Lidocaine and Ketamine infusion therapy. All this with a goal to repair and reconstruct my torn and broken body with artificial and cadaver bone. Also to help treat my pain with a goal to not depend on narcotic medication.

Although narcotic medication has been very helpful in treating my pain my Doctors at Stanford felt I needed to stop using it 2 years ago as my many years of use was starting to have negative impacts on my body even though I never did abuse the medication. The first two years after my injury occurred I was in 8 hospitals and two skilled nursing facilities. It was during those years my need for pain medications like fentanyl and Norco were much higher than the norm. However once I was able to walk again  I generally took only a few pills a day to give me a little bit of a better quality of life without becoming addicted to them. As a medical professional I knew the risks.

At this time everything medically possible to relieve and or reduce my pain has been done. I feel that radio frequency ablation to nerves in my back had the best results. I have 0 back pain and it’s been 7 months. The Stim Router implant in my shoulder helps but only that one peripheral nerve. The Lidocaine infusion helped for 24 hours. The ketamine infusion lasted a day but it also gives me some relief still. It’s only been 4 days since I had that done. I start the ketamine-Lidocaine-Gabapentin topical cream in a few days to help support the pain relief I received in infusion therapy. I believe this will be my final life long treatment for my pain.

People who suffer from Chronic pain, strive to find joy and comfort and relief for their pain as to do nothing would surely be a death sentence. For me this has required my faith to be strong and to always have a positive attitude to overcome and conquer my challenges. The support of family and a few good friends and caregivers was also a huge help to me.  Together this is what has kept me going. I pray my story inspires others to never give up and to hold on to hope for a better tomorrow. Remember this. Each day is a gift.

– Douglas Christian, CRPS Warrior

Hope Is The Biggest Gift
From mother…….

I am navigating this disorder along side my amazing strong beautiful and brave daughter Alyssa. She was recently diagnosed with CRPS after suffering a trivial injury to her right foot. Together we travelled to Disneyland to attend the CRPS conference this month. To be able to meet with other families was invaluable. As a mom, watching your child suffer is the most horrific devastating experience. To get support from other moms who are helping their children was a blessing. For Alyssa what she took away from the conference was acceptance.  To know that she is not alone was huge for her. This invisible disease has had significant impact on her ability to navigate her world. Other children have an inability to truly understand her daily experience… to be told by her school peers that she is “faking it” and being labeled as disabled left her feeling alone and isolated. I’m so grateful for the support network she was able to establish. Hopefully creating a lifelong friendship with other child warriors… 

Cathy

Hope Is The Biggest Gift
From mother…….

I am navigating this disorder along side my amazing strong beautiful and brave daughter Alyssa. She was recently diagnosed with CRPS after suffering a trivial injury to her right foot. Together we travelled to Disneyland to attend the CRPS conference this month. To be able to meet with other families was invaluable. As a mom, watching your child suffer is the most horrific devastating experience. To get support from other moms who are helping their children was a blessing. For Alyssa what she took away from the conference was acceptance.  To know that she is not alone was huge for her. This invisible disease has had significant impact on her ability to navigate her world. Other children have an inability to truly understand her daily experience… to be told by her school peers that she is “faking it” and being labeled as disabled left her feeling alone and isolated. I’m so grateful for the support network she was able to establish. Hopefully creating a lifelong friendship with other child warriors… 

Cathy

To daughter…….
Hi! My name is Alyssa, and I am 11 years old! I was diagnosed with CRPS in June of 2018. I was unable to walk for a long time and progressed to using crutches and was in a cast to guard my right foot from tremendous pain. I could not fully bare weight on it and couldn’t take part in dance or sports for 10 months. 

When I first started to have pain, I did not know what first caused my original injury. I was in soccer, dance and track when I first started to have pain. I had to quit everything that I loved to do! I was at the point where if someone had closed the door the wind would cause excruciating pain. This is called allodynia. My foot would go into such bad pain that no one could touch it. It made it impossible to sleep. I was so scared to do anything! It hurt so bad!!! I was in so much pain that I thought no one believe me!

I thought my doctors did not know what was happening and that I would have pain forever. I went from doctor to doctor and specialist to specialist, and no one new what was wrong. They just kept saying the same thing: “lets take another X-ray,  there is probably a fracture or, it’s just a sprain.” I had five X-rays and one bone scan. Finally, after five months the bone scan showed that a had very little blood flow to my right foot and it showed that I had no fractures. This confirmed a diagnosis of Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome. It shook my world.

My mom wanted to learn all that she could and decided to take me to the CRPS Convention to learn more about my diagnosis. I went to Disneyland for the CRPS teen meet up. I did not believe how many people that where young like me that had CRPS. I met this one girl named Emily. I gave her my number and about every week I talk to her for a little bit and by doing this it helps me connect with others who know and understand how much pain I have suffered. It means a lot just to know someone was there for me who knew how difficult it was to go through this! It  gave me a blanket of hope,  comfort, and support. If you want to meet someone who has the same syndrome as you I would recommend to go to the teen CRPS meet up or to reach out to me! I am currently in what my doctors say is remission. I still have pain, but I can walk now and it makes me feel happy! Sometimes it is  worse, depending on my fatigue and stress. But I want all of you who suffer, for those of you who are scared to death like I was, and for you who feel terrified and alone that in fact you are not alone, that there is always going to be someone who knows how much pain you are in. I realized that my family was my biggest supporters and I’m sure your family will be your biggest supporters, too. One day you will have a pain free day just like me and remember to have hope. Hope is the biggest gift that you will get through your journey. So have hope, dream big, and try to live life the best you can.

Hoping you have low pain days and hoping you live life the best you can!!!

Love,
Alyssa

Cheerleading Saved His Life!
Rick has been a wheelchair user since 2008 after an accident at work, a fall from height during an acrobatic performance, led to him developing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, his CRPS mostly impacts his legs and knees and leaves him unable to walk more than 5 meters or bear weight while standing without intense pain. Since that point, determined not to let his impairment stop him from continuing in his passions for performance and cheerleading, Rick has worked as a professional circus artist with shows at the national theatre as well as being part of the aerial team for the Paralympics 2012 ceremonies, toured the world as a professional contemporary dancer for Candoco Dance Company, where he also taught dance workshops for disabled and non-disabled dancers alike, became the first physically disabled AcroYoga International qualified teacher, and fulfilled a dream of being a stunt man while body doubling for the lead character in the 2016 Rio Paralympics “Super Humans” advert. Throughout all these activities he continued his passion for cheerleading, having been a cheerleader for 5 years before his disability he didn’t want to let his new physical condition prevent him from continuing to participate in the sport he loves.

It is said that cheerleading is wonderfully inclusive because there’s a space on team for every body shape, but up until recently that wasn’t entirely true. When Rick tried to continue to participate with his cheerleading team they weren’t accepting of his status as a wheelchair user and denied him access to train. Not letting this deter him he reached out and found a partner who was interested in working with him and adapting the sport, they also found a location to train in that was open to him using his wheelchair in their space, Talent Central in East London. This was back in 2009/10, he called it “Wheelchair Partner Stunt” and, since it had never been seen before, got the opportunity to perform at the WorldChampionships in 2011. He performed again at Europeans 2011 and Worlds 2012 before briefly stopping cheer to focus on inclusive dance work, having got a job with Candoco Dance Company.

Severe depression and anxiety put a stop to his dance career, but Cheerleading once again came through and saved his life. In 2014 Rick met with the International Cheer Union (The ICU), the recognized governing body for cheerleading world wide, to discuss ways to include people with physical and sensory disabilities into our wonderful sport. By the next year he had formed the charity ParaCheer International CIO, to work in partnership with the ICU. Had advised on rules and best practice for the divisions, and started creating a team to bring to showcase in 2016. The first competitive debut of the divisions took place at Worlds 2017, that first year there were only 5 teams across the 3 divisions, Unified Advanced, Freestyle Pom and Hip-hop but it was heart warming to see that, through these fully inclusive divisions, we finally had Cheer For Everyone!

The ParaCheer divisions are for disabled and non-disabled athletes working together to perform most of the elements of classical cheerleading routines. The sport is now recognized as part of the world championships and is participated in by people in over ten countries, with more building all the time. We’re hopeful it will soon become a recognized event Paralympic sport alongside cheerleading’s recent recognition in the Olympics. What’s unique and exciting about this element of cheer is that it really highlights the teamwork inherent in our sport; there are many times when you’ll need more than one individual involved in making adaptations from the classic techniques, to assist a disabled participant in achieving a skill.

Rick founded the first Team England ParaCheer teams to compete internationally, winning gold alongside them as a team member in 2017 and 2018, and the team remains unbeaten still. Rick currently spends his time voluntarily running the charity ParaCheer International CIO, giving his expertise in adapting movement and working with disabled athletes, teams, and their coaches globally and assisting many cheerleading National Governing Bodies start their own national ParaCheer teams. It is his desire that no disabled athletes face the discrimination and difficulties that he faced when first starting to use a wheelchair to stunt. He is also a member of the ICU athletes commission, and sits on the Ethics and Medical committees of the ICU to ensure the voice of disabled athletes is heard. He recently came back from competing against non-disabled athletes in Holland where he and his current flyer, Chantal Epp, came 3rd in a division against non-disabled athletes. The routine they performed there and at The Varsity All-star Summit, one of the biggest competitions of the season in America, can be seen by following this link https://www.facebook.com/ParaCheerInternational/videos/375568573049364/

You can get involved with the movement yourselves by checking out our website www.paracheer.org, or following us on social media Facebook: ParaCheerInternational Instagram: @ParaCheer or my personal Instagram: @wheelchairpartnerstunt, or click on the links below. You can also see the history of Wheelchair Partner stunt in more detail on the website www.wheelchiarpartnerstunt.com.

We are so much stronger!
I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy seven years ago. My CRPS started in my right wrist after I was injured on the job as a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P) Officer. The CRPS has since spread up my right arm into my right shoulder, the right side of my neck, head and back, and last year I had what the Doctor’s believe is another spread to both of my feet. I’ve lost a lot to CRPS; my career, friends, family, my self-confidence, athletic abilities, day to day physical abilities, my mobility, hobbies, and a lot of my passions. 

Last year was a particularly hard time for me. I was finally coming to terms with my condition and what that meant for my future. I was in the middle of a lawsuit with my insurance company fighting for disability payments. I was struggling to receive coverage of new treatments and dealing with the side effects of those treatments. The strain of everything was putting a lot of pressure on my marriage. All in all, it was an extremely stressful time, which unfortunately a lot of people with CRPS have to deal with.

I was lucky I found the ‘Disability Sailing Associated of British Columbia’, which is a not-for-profit organization that enables people with disabilities to take part in sailing at Jericho Beach in Vancouver, B.C. The sailboats are Martin 16’s and they are designed to enable people with all levels of disabilities to experience sailing either recreationally or competitively, even people with quadriplegia have complete control of the vessel.

The sailboats and the volunteers are beyond amazing! Everything is taken into account to ensure that you have the most amazing experience out on the water. From getting you into the sailboat with help of the ramp or the lift, to being able to even control the sailboat with your breath, everything has been thought of! There is a retractable keel which allow these sailboats to be extremely stable and makes you feel comfortable and secure.

The Disability Sailing association, through sailing, taught me that I didn’t lose everything. I can still be competitive, active, and feel like I am accomplishing something that I honestly never dreamt possible. They allow me to share that experience with my husband as well, which helps bring us closer and allows us to have an activity that we can enjoy together.

I feel alive when I am out on the water and have learned so much not only about sailing, but about myself. I had felt lost in this illness for a long time and The Disability Sailing Association and their team of volunteers re-awoke in me my sense of adventure, my desire to learn new things, and gave me a way to feel free again. For that, I will forever be thankful. I may have lost a lot to CRPS, but I’m continuing to fight and everyday I’m discovering new ways to grow stronger, adapt, and overcome the challenges that this terrible disease causes.

We are so much stronger than we think we are, and we need to continue to raise awareness about CRPS so that more programs like this can exist. Through this awareness maybe we’ll be able to find a cure!

Ashley Anderson

Two Women, Finding Their Inner Strength
The motivation to direct my first feature film came from frustration. Frustration with my disease, my impending birthday and my stagnant career. As a woman working in the film industry, I have repeatedly hit roadblocks as a director, writer and editor while, at the same time being painfully aware of the lack of films getting made from a female point of view. This frustration collided with a trip I had to make to South Dakota.

I sat down with my partner in Bledska Works (and Cinematographer) Rob Senksa to write the story of Junior and Mads, two women, both struggling with a disease, who set out on a trip of self discovery.

Rob and I recently worked on a film starring Jennifer Stone, widely known for her role on Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place”. I knew her to be tremendously talented and anxious to do more serious work. I brought brought her on, not only as an actor but as a co-writer and a Producer.

We wrote a script in two weeks and then, along with my producer Chris Lyon, loaded up two cars and set out to shoot “The In-Between”. We shot the entire film on the road in fourteen days, while traveling 4500 miles, primarily with a four-person team.

I have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, which is classed as the most painful chronic pain condition. Jennifer is Type I Diabetic. We’ve often discussed our illnesses and how few understand the struggles that come with daily life. I wanted to explore that in this film and give the audience a peek into the lives of those living with an invisible illness.

In addition to physical illness, Mads and Junior also suffer from emotional heartache. Both women are deeply wounded by the loss of a loved one: Junior by the death of her sister and Mads, her mother’s abandonment. They are both hurting and looking for closure that will bring healing.

These two women are damaged emotionally, suffering physically and bonded by a deep friendship. By telling this story, I hope to entertain with a fun, touching and emotional journey of two women finding their inner strength, while also educating the audience on what it’s like to live with an invisible illness.

 Mindy Bledsoe

Two Women, Finding Their Inner Strength
The motivation to direct my first feature film came from frustration. Frustration with my disease, my impending birthday and my stagnant career. As a woman working in the film industry, I have repeatedly hit roadblocks as a director, writer and editor while, at the same time being painfully aware of the lack of films getting made from a female point of view. This frustration collided with a trip I had to make to South Dakota.

I sat down with my partner in Bledska Works (and Cinematographer) Rob Senksa to write the story of Junior and Mads, two women, both struggling with a disease, who set out on a trip of self discovery.

Rob and I recently worked on a film starring Jennifer Stone, widely known for her role on Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place”. I knew her to be tremendously talented and anxious to do more serious work. I brought brought her on, not only as an actor but as a co-writer and a Producer.

We wrote a script in two weeks and then, along with my producer Chris Lyon, loaded up two cars and set out to shoot “The In-Between”. We shot the entire film on the road in fourteen days, while traveling 4500 miles, primarily with a four-person team.

I have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, which is classed as the most painful chronic pain condition. Jennifer is Type I Diabetic. We’ve often discussed our illnesses and how few understand the struggles that come with daily life. I wanted to explore that in this film and give the audience a peek into the lives of those living with an invisible illness.

In addition to physical illness, Mads and Junior also suffer from emotional heartache. Both women are deeply wounded by the loss of a loved one: Junior by the death of her sister and Mads, her mother’s abandonment. They are both hurting and looking for closure that will bring healing.

These two women are damaged emotionally, suffering physically and bonded by a deep friendship. By telling this story, I hope to entertain with a fun, touching and emotional journey of two women finding their inner strength, while also educating the audience on what it’s like to live with an invisible illness.

 Mindy Bledsoe

Short Synopsis of “The In-Between”
Two women set out on a road trip with different missions. Mads (Jennifer Stone “Wizards of Waverly Place”) needs to renew her driver’s license in South Dakota, while Junior needs to visit Portland, OR on a quest for her dead sister. Both women have medical issues that cause friction along the way, but they never let those problems define their identities. Mads is also keeping a secret from Junior, that could explode at any moment and ruin their journey.

Trailer