'Suffering the Silence' Portraits Open the Dialogue About Chronic Illness (PHOTOS)

allie cashel Those struggling with a chronic illness that's not visible to the naked eye are often forced to suffer in silence. Now two young women are determined to change all that. Friends since grade school, Erica Lupinacci, who has Lupus, and Allie Cashel (pictured above), who's been battling Lyme disease, have started the site Suffering the Silence to open a dialogue about the diseases that plague millions but often go undiscussed in day-to-day life. 

The site takes its name from Cashel's forthcoming book, Suffering the Silence: Chronic Lyme Disease in an Age of Denial. The author explains how her friendship with Lupinacci served as inspiration: 

One of the cool things about sharing our experiences was that there is a huge overlap in the experience of living with different chronic illnesses. Just because you have one disease doesn’t mean you can’t relate to people who are suffering from illness in general.

The book has spawned a photo series in which New Yorkers are shown covering their mouths yet displaying the names of their illnesses on their arms. Check out this brave and inspiring way of starting the conversation about chronic illnesses.


Image via Amanda Crommett Photography

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