Living with illness is like a roller coaster, isn't it? 20 years of living with rheumatoid arthritis (since age 24) has taught Lisa that people and resources are essential in making life worth living when you are ill! Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries, the largest Christian organization that serves the chronically ill. She has authored over ten books, including resources for over 300 HopeKeepers groups, a small group program of Rest Ministries.
Her newest book is "How to Start a Chronic Illness Small Group Ministry"--320 pages packed full of everything from logistical steps in presenting your idea of a chronic illness small group to the church, to the emotional and spiritual part of deciding if this is something to take on within the limitations your illness may give you.
As founder of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week held annually in September, she encourages those all over the world who live with chronic disease.
She seeks to encourage churches to increase an outreach to the chronically ill nearly 1 in 2 people in the U.S. She was awarded the "Women's Health Hero" Award for 2009 as the "Audience Choice" given by Our Bodies Ourselves.
Lisa's works have been published in Reader's Digest (Feb 2013), CNN.com, Huffington Post, and a variety of books that tell her story. Lisa is a sought-after speaker and has been a guest of radio programs Decision Today, Family Life and Joni and Friends and national TV programs like "Peace in the Storm" and "Heroes Among Us."
She resides in San Diego with her husband and son, and has lived with degenerative rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia since 1993.
She is a member of AWSA, a Christian writers and speakers women's group and also helps author with internet marketing tips, presenting marketing ideas and tips at Christian writer's workshops.
Interesting facts about Lisa? She wore the same pair of sandals for over 5 years due to the inability to find shoes that fit her deformed feet from her disease, plus hammer toes. But after dealing with the flesh eating virus in her ankle in 2009, her foot doctor finally found her a pair. And her most recent adventure in 2013? Finding out the disabling back pain was a fractured rib caused by osteoporosis. . . and then following through with her 10-year-old son's birthday party for 20 people 2 days later. Sometimes you CAN'T push through the pain, but Lisa does her best to do just that whenever possible.