by Kyleigh Hawes
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older, 18 percent of the population. Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. Every day, 2,200 people die from cardiovascular diseases—that is nearly 800,000 Americans each year.
WVUP Spoonies is the new support group for anyone struggling with any mental and physical illnesses.
The club president, Grace Shockey, kick-started the idea of the multipurpose support group when she found out about an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), support group in Cincinnati.
“I was thinking it would be great to have something here, in Parkersburg, but then I realized there’s just not a whole lot of one thing in Parkersburg. And I thought, ‘maybe it doesn’t have to be just one thing,” Grace said.
Grace then began scouting for people with similar passions, such as those with either similar diseases to Grace’s or those with experience in depression and anxiety.
The first member, and vice president of WVUP Spoonies, is Alexis Jackson. She has battled with anxiety and depression and spends her free time raising awareness for suicide prevention. “She is dedicated to helping others and I am glad to have her on our team,” Grace wrote in her blog post ‘Project: College Support Group.’
The second member, and secretary of the club, is Kyleigh Hawes. She is also a suicide awareness activist with a past in depression and anxiety. “She has such a kind heart and I’m glad to have her on our team,” Grace wrote in her blog post ‘Project: College Support Group.’
The third member, and treasurer of the club, is Dustin Digman. He too, has battled depression and anxiety, while also being part of Project Semicolon. “He is a very genuine guy, and I’m glad to have him on our team,” Grace wrote in her blog post ‘Project: College Support Group.’
The final member is none other than Grace Shockey herself, president of WVUP Spoonies. She is an activist for Disability Rights and stands for those with chronic illnesses.
“I have Crohn’s, an ileostomy, Gastroparesis, a NJ (nasojejunal) tube, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and am a mobility devise user, as well as I have Outer Surface Protein D (OSPD) and probably Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS),” Grace wrote.
If anyone is interested in becoming a part of the organization, please contact any of the members above.
Meetings will occur Mondays from noon to 1 p.m. and Thursday’s meeting time is to-be-determined.
A room for support group meetings will also be determined soon.
For more information, anyone may go to Twitter @WSpoonies, or facebook and search WVUP Spoonies Support. If you would be interested in reading more about Grace and the organization, you may also go to: theecrohniegrace.wordpress.com.