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Christmas in July Chronic Illness Card Swap Lets You Send Fellow Spoonies Early Holiday Cheer

What happened: This July, the Chronic Warrior Collective is launching the Christmas in July Holiday Card Swap, one of two planned biannual holiday card swaps, which invites chronic illness warriors to exchange holiday cards with some festive cheer and perhaps forge new long-lasting friendships. The Chronic Warrior Card Swap was started by Denise Archilla in 2016 to give others with chronic illness an opportunity to connect and offer each other support. Since then it has grown into a global initiative with participants joining from 22 countries.

I’ve met two of my closest spoonie friends through the Card Swap. It’s opened up an entirely new world for me — one in which illness and disability are not experiences on the fringe. It’s a refreshing change of pace as far as relationship building goes.” — Kat Harrison, The Mighty’s community content manager

The Frontlines: Chronic illness covers a wide range of health conditions that are oftentimes invisible to the outside world. The National Health Council estimates that over 40% of the U.S. population lives with one or multiple forms of chronic illness, yet many of those affected report feelings of isolation and of being misunderstood.

  • As many as one in three chronically ill people also experience feelings of depression
  • Medical care for chronically ill people can often disregard the mental health impact of living with a chronic illness
  • Building a safe community with like-minded people can significantly reduce the mental health risks for chronically ill people and improve their overall wellbeing

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A Mighty Voice: “Especially in the age of technology, and with so many young spoonies unable to get out and about socially as much as they’d like, getting mail from someone who understands life with a chronic illness or disability can be a great gift,” Archilla previously told The Mighty. “I think we all enjoy getting something fun in the mail, too!”

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A banner promoting The Mighty's new Spoonie Life Hacks group on The Mighty mobile app. The banner reads, Make life with chronic illness a little bit easier. Join the Spoonie Life Hacks group to get tips from other spoonies for tackling everyday tasks — and share your own hacks! Click to join.

Other things to know: If you’d like to find out more about chronic illness and the coping mechanisms your fellow spoonies use, check out the following Mighty articles:

How to take action: The Christmas in July Chronic Illness Card Swap is free to join and chronic warriors can register up until June 30 to take part. To find out more or register for this year’s card swap, please visit the Chronic Warrior Collective.

Header image via Chronic Warrior Collective/Instagram