Monthly Archives: January 2020


Rare Disease Day at the RI State House:

82 Smith St, Providence, RI 02903 Second Floor

Thursday, February 27, 2020 2:30– 4:30 PM (Set up meet in handicap parking lot at 2pm)

Tables with a couple of chairs will be set up on the second floor, one on the Senate side and one on the House side. The building is handicap accessible via the entrance through the parking lot on the left side facing the front of the state house. A limited number of handicap parking spaces are in this parking lot and some are located on the street surrounding the state house. Parking can be an issue, allow for time to park, car pool if possible. Carpooling can be set up via the Facebook event page or via email.

Free up to date awareness materials about Rare Diseases and the different local organizations helping our Rhode Island Rare Disease Community will be provided. Members and family members of the various groups will be on hand to talk about what living life with a Rare Disease or disorder is like for them.

To volunteer or have your organization represented contact  

Rare Disease Day takes place on the last day of February each year. The main objective of Rare Disease Day is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives.

The campaign targets primarily the general public and seeks to raise awareness amongst policy makers, public authorities, industry representatives, researchers, health professionals and anyone who has a genuine interest in rare diseases.

Clothing options are unlimited, the only request is that clothing is clean and neat, if possible please wear an awareness T-Shirt about the Rare Disease you are representing with comfortable jeans/pants/skirts.

Volunteers are required to register with Krista Brack prior to the event contact   

Movie Screening – New Date 2.22.2020

Movie Screening:

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020 2pm to 5pm

Movie to start promptly at 2:20pm

North Providence Public Library

Community Room

1810 Mineral Spring Ave, North Providence Rhode Island 02904

Exclusive Q & A with Director, Producer,

Editor Karina Ulrike Sturm to follow!

NO PHOTOGRAPHY OR VIDEO OF THE MOVIE IS ALLOWED! This is a copyrighted film we have special permission from the creator to show, it is not to be shared without her express permission. To find out more about it go to (Scroll down for more information about the film)

We will have a snack table, everyone is welcome to bring a snack for themselves or to share, please be mindful of allergens.

Please do not wear or spray fragrance in the room. We have people attending with severe allergies who will have to leave if you spray, please be considerate of others.

Photo Booth Fun! We will have our photo booth set up again, this time the backdrop will be Hollywood Red Carpet, dress to impress or come in you most conformable pajamas!

The room will be open at 1:40 for those wanting to come early and get the best seats. If you have visual or auditory issues and need to reserve a seat in the front please Email


1:40 – Room Open/Snack Table set up/ Photo Booth

2pm-2:20pm – Come in and get settled

2:20: Movie Start Time

3:28- Movie Ends – 10 minute break

3:40- Q&A with Karina Strum

4:30 – Pack up/Clean up

We are inviting the Ehlers-Danlos community to an exclusive screening of the feature-length film ’We Are Visible,’ which shows a variety of people living with an invisible condition called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome all around the globe followed by a Q & A with the filmmaker.

 We Are Visible:

 The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are a group of rare connective tissue disorders that can affect every part of the body.

We Are Visible wants to show the full picture of the condition including the complex presentation of symptoms, to the complications while searching for a diagnosis, over misdiagnoses and their harmful consequences, but also the daily challenges EDS patients face, and the differences in accessibility of care depending on the area they live at. My documentary focuses on the one thing that unites all patients: Their never-ending endurance to overcome those obstacles and to thrive. It conveys the hope and strength with which EDS patients fight for a better quality of life and care.

Dr. Rodney Grahame, who has worked with EDS patients for decades once said:

”No other disease in the history of modern medicine has been neglected in such a way as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.”

However, this fact is also the reason why EDS patients worldwide came closer together as a community. They are stepping up to raise awareness and knowledge about their condition, and We Are Visible is dedicated to explicitly support all of them.

EDS is an invisible illness, just like many other chronic conditions.

And this comes along with another common misconception. How can you be sick if you look perfectly fine? This film will show people of all ages (5 – 60 years old), with diverse backgrounds, different financial standing in different parts of the world that are all differently affected by this invisible condition. I hope that showing all those sides will resolve prejudices other people might have against Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

EDS patients have to live with physical pain on a daily basis.

However, sometimes being belittled or judged, or not believed in can be worse than the physical pain. We Are Visible will show that EDS patients are some of the strongest-willed people despite their disabilities. While all EDS patients share the rare illness, they are still a variety of personalities and not defined by a chronic health condition. My film embraces these differences and shows how everyone copes in a different way.

 The contributors of this documentary live in different countries and states.

Therefore, EDS additionally appears in the context of other healthcare systems, which lead to new challenges. All single stories fit together as a whole and will be accompanied by expert opinions that give necessary background knowledge about EDS.

 Every one of my contributors is fighting for something:

For instance, for a better quality of life, for better treatment options, for their children, for awareness, or simply for survival. EDS patients are not victims; they are powerful individuals.

They are visible!

About the Filmmaker

Long Bio:

Karina grew up in Germany but currently lives in San Francisco, CA. After finishing school, she has worked in the medical field for eight years – most recently as a laboratory technician in a German research facility with a focus on biotechnology. In 2010, she developed symptoms related to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and comorbid conditions and was unable to continue her research. She soon found her passion for writing and started to combine her medical knowledge with her personal experiences with disability and chronic illness. Her work focuses on medicine, science, chronic illness, and disability. 2018, Karina was accepted into a journalism program in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has been studying ever since. As part of her degree, she has worked with blind journalist Belo Cipriani and produced three accessible short films called ”Firsts” that feature writers with different disabilities. Additionally, she writes for an Austrian magazine for medical professionals with a focus on the patient’s perspective, and she has also written for international publications such as the Columbia Journalism Review. Besides journalism, Karina has a strong passion for all activities that involve being on or in the ocean. She loves traveling, dogs, facts, and Heavy Metal music, and hates lies, intolerance, and cooking. Karina’s film We Are Visible is a non-profit project and part of her MA thesis.

More information about Karina:


Trailer 1:

 Trailer 2:

 Trailer 3:

 Official Website:

RI EDS/CTD Support Group Presents the ‘We Are Visible’ Rhode Island Premier Movie Screening

Saturday, January 18, 2020 2 pm to 5 pm

Movie to start promptly at 2:20pm

North Providence Public Library

Community Room

1810 Mineral Spring Ave, North Providence Rhode Island 02904

Exclusive Q & A with Director, Producer, Editor Karina Ulrike Sturm to follow!

Open to the Public

The room for this event will be open at 1:50pm for guests to come in and get settled. The movie will begin right at 2:20pm.

After the movie we will have a 15 minute break for people to use the facilities, get a snack or visit our Movie Premier Photo Station! .

Following the 15 minute break after the movie we will be joined via video chat with the Director, Producer, Editor Karina Ulrike Sturm for an exclusive Q&A.

A snack table will be set up with a variety of allergy friendly items. Guests are encouraged to bring a dish to share, an ingredient card will be required for all shareable snacks

Make sure to check out the Movie Photo Station where we will have a green screen and props set up for participants to get their photos taken as if they are at a Fancy Hollywood Premier.The photo station will be set up before the movie from 1:50 to 2:20 and again following the movie until approximately 4:45, it will be unavailable while the movie is being screened.

Photos will be uploaded to a website after the event and participants will have free access to them to save, download or print, no photo taken will be used outside of this event without the participants express written permission.

We would kindly like to remind our guests that many of our members have severe allergies and we ask that no fragrances be worn or used during the event.

We are limited to using a TV screen or video projector for this event and encourage anyone with visual impairments to email ahead of time to secure an area in the front.

This event is open to the public and we are trying to reach as many families in the area as we can that might benefit. Please share this event!