About Jennifer

People ask me what I do and I hum and haw and stumble to describe “me” in a clear and concise manner. Unfortunately just saying I’m an artist or a health activist or a business consultant and a speaker and a creative project visionary and on and on. I’m coming to grips with the fact that it is ok to be who I am and being me and doing me is very involved! SO…

These things that I do have become so intertwined that having a place for each “thing” would get a little insane which is why I came to the conclusion that  I’m just going to do it all here in this one place.

I promise you this… I look at life through a loving & less skeptical eye – and I live in JOY no matter the difficulties I encounter and I’d like to invite you to join me in insisting on building our lives around these ideas even if it takes putting on our rose colored glasses and flinging a bunch of glitter and color! Of course we all need an occasional harmless outburst to let the stress out – chances are if you stop by often you’ll see one my versions of a tantrum!

On The Feeding Edge you will find:

Art – both mine and others

Tutorials – mostly art related but in a way a recipe put on a blog and “discussed” –  is a tutorial.

Creative living – this can be anything really and a lot of this happens on my Facebook Profile (send me a friend request at http://facebook.com/jennifer.visscher

 

Gardening – I love to garden and can’t wait to move to the North East where stuff will grow and grow and grow! Currently we live south east of Denver, Colorado and it is a challenge because of the arid climate.

Anti-inflammatory eating & recipes – I’ve taken up Dr. Weil’s food pyramid eating philosophy and it is a sane approach I love.

Advocacy & health activism – I advocate for people living with a chronic disease, chronic pain, autoimmune arthritis, and specifically Ankylosing Spondylitis, the primary disease I deal with. This has been a very large part of what I’ve focused on to date but 2013 brings a very large shift in my focus away from focusing on disease to a focus on living a happy, productive life focusing on health.

Social art for good projects – I believe that art can be a force for good and social change. My Art Apple A Day 365 days of Art of an Apple was the beginning of working on these types of projects.

Positivity & Joy – Live in JOY! I truly believe that anyone can make the shift to live their lives this way. I live with a difficult and painful disease but I refuse for it to take any more from me than it already has. I insist on being who I am and not letting the possible negativity or self-pity happen. We all have struggles in life – we can either get mired down in the muck of them or we can decide that the negatives and difficulties will not be the focus of our lives. I fight for this everyday – it is not an easy thing to do but that is a thread that comes through all that I do. My first years of blogging had me focusing mostly on discussing living a life with AS and raising awareness of the disease. Although positivity, hope, & joy were key elements of the projects and posts I was focusing first on the disease. Now that those projects are complete, I focus first on living in joy, sharing what I love, and inspiring others to let go of the negativity that surrounds chronic illness.

I hope you will stop by often.  Let’s live life in joy and celebrate simple pleasures. Join me in putting on rose colored glasses – together we’ll learn how to let go of the hurts and the negatives we encounter from time to time. It is our choice as to how we live – I choose all things wonderful, colorful, and joyful!

 

 

Below is a lot of information about my years of Health Activism and my many advocacy & awareness projects!

Hi there! I’m Jennifer Dye Visscher – but please call me Jenna.

A very big part of what I do is advocate for people living with a disease I have called Ankylosing Spondylitis. I also consider myself a health activist and use social media to raise awareness of health issues and topics. On my blog you will find some posts where I share about how this affects my life and how I choose to accept and adjust to the limitations it causes. I also speak on chronic pain, relationships and intimacy when one partner is diagnosed with a chronic illness, and how art can be used as a vehicle for social good.

Please see my link about the various advocacy projects I have created and successfully implemented or feel free to contact me with a special project. I develop creative grassroots projects to connect with my community and spread the word about autoimmune arthritis. Here are a few of the projects I envisioned, created, implemented and continue to develop. Do you have a creative project you’d like help implementing? Let’s Talk!

I has been a featured speaker for the 2012 World Autoimmune Arthritis Day Convention as well as working with the Arthritis Foundation Speaker’s Bureau in the Rocky Mountain West. Most recently I developed a presentation and moderated discussions on balancing chronic pain in the workplace with one of the “Big Four” Fortune 500 companies.

I have also been interviewed on New York City’s WPIX, XM Doctor Radio, and in numerous print articles including The Saturday Evening Post. (links below)

 

Hire me to speak or create an individualized campaign or program. Some topics I already provide:

1. Finding happiness and a “new normal” after a diagnosis of chronic illness.

2. Chronic pain in the workplace.

3.  Creative advocacy works!

4. Create like no one is watching.

And with her husband Doug:

1. Tips on keeping your relationship strong when one partner is diagnosed with a chronic illness.

 

 

 

More About Me…

Jennifer Dye Visscher, an imaginative artist, blogger, and social media health activist from Elizabeth, Colorado, started her year long journey on October 1, 2010 to create An Apple A Day as an original piece of art to promote and support others with the chronic disease known as Ankylosing Spondylitis.  Jenna successfully finished her 365 daily apples on September 30, 2011 and she has drawn a large following from around the country and the world with her beautiful art and her empathetic writing on her daily blog The Feeding Edge.  Jenna describes it as a place where “art, a positive outlook, and health advocacy issues come together”.

Jenna reaches out to many organizations serving this population on the web in a truly unique way. Her content, commentary, and cultural references focus on the positives of dealing with chronic illness and builds a bridge to gain interest from outside the AS community by matching art to words and hopefully brings a touch of joy and creativity to lives every day.

Jenna is a power writer for The Fight Like a Girl Club and is published on WEGOHealth.com in the written word and via video.  You can also watch her paint on her You Tube Channel and in April 2011 she joined with two other AS Warriors to create the Hope & Apples Campaign for AS Awareness month. Over 100 stories and apples were submitted as testimonials  from over 8 countries in less than a month.

She welcomes all to her site whether a sufferer, partner or care giver, or a friend.  Jenna would like all of us to band together to bring awareness and understanding; empathy and support; study and shared experiences to people with chronic disease in all its forms.  She asks people to “Be part of the Story, Be part of the Cure!”

 

In The Media:

November 2011 Issue of Saturday Evening Post

Did you catch me on WPIX TV?

http://www.wpix.com/news/morningnews/wpix-as-big-apple,0,1159185.story

Interview on XM Doctor Radio

 

Places to find Jenna Visscher

Twitter: @ApplesForACure & @TheFeedingEdge

365 Apples Archived at Art Apple A Day – http://artappleaday.com

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jennifer-visscher/12/416/8aa

Blog: http://www.thefeedingedge.com/

The Feeding Edge Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/TheFeedingEdge

On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/JennaVisscher

See the Apples on Flicker: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenna_visscher/

Apples For AS: http://www.applesforas.com

Hope & Apples Website: http://hopeandapples.com

Walk Your A.S. Off: http://walkyourasoff.com

 

Other places around the web!

AS Power Team Writer For The Fight Like A Girl Club: http://www.thefightlikeagirlclub.com/author/jenna/

WegoHealth: http://community.wegohealth.com/profile/JennaArtApple

WegoHealthBlog: http://blog.wegohealth.com/2011/02/17/guest-post-jenna-from-art-apple-a-day-gives-a-health-activist-take-on-last-nights-rxsave-chat/

The Brave Discussion:  http://thebravediscussion.com/2011/09/self-healing-through-stories-and-art-jenna-visschers-365-journey-to-happiness/

World AS Day: http://www.worldasday.com/2011/05/real-stories%E2%80%A6-real-people-my-physio-was-vital-to-my-spondylitis-treatment-plan/

Apple Art on the  2010 Spondylitis Association of America Annual Report!

 

To contact me please email me at jenna [at] thefeedingedge [dot] com or 303-478-9985.

 

 

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