IDC debut gala to raise awareness

Photo courtesy of Instagram | The Invisible Disabilities Club focuses on raising awareness and creating community for students struggling with invisible disabilities at Xavier. campus.

The Invisible Disabilities Club, nearly two years in the making, will be hosting their first formal event: the Invisible Disabilities Gala. It will be held in the Cintas Center Banquet Hall on Saturday. The gala is a fundraiser not only for the club, but also for the Epilepsy Alliance of Ohio.

The founder of the club, junior psychology major Alyanna Reick-Mitrisin, has what is commonly known as an invisible disability.

Invisible disabilities can be illnesses like epilepsy, chronic fatigue or pain, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, hearing loss and blindness, among others.

Although they can significantly impair a person’s ability to function, these illnesses are often masked because of social stigma or are simply not visible to onlookers.

According to Disabled World, a health news source, it’s estimated that 10 percent of people have an invisible disability and that 96 percent of those with such a disability don’t show outwards signs of having such an illness, despite it often being as debilitating as an outward illness.

“Growing up, I’ve had a disability, and I found that those with invisible disabilities weren’t represented well within a community,” Reick-Mitrisin said. “I wanted more students like me on campus to be able to improve their academic and emotional life.”
Reick-Mitrisin and some of her other friends made a joint effort back in 2016 to start a club for those with invisible disabilities, one focused on building a community and raising awareness.

“In making a club for those with invisible disabilities, it allows for greater representation within Xavier’s campus. It’s hard to cope and build a community when you feel so alone,” Reick-Mitrisin said.

Yet the Invisible Disabilities Club is not limited to only students with invisible disabilities.

“Our goal is to promote awareness of invisible disabilities and to establish a campus community where those struggling with such disabilities feel safe,” Reick-Mitrisin said.

“Joining the club or attending the gala as an act of support or in attempts to spread awareness is not only welcome, it’s highly encouraged.”

Students can still reserve a ticket by emailing the Invisible Disabilities Club at here. They can choose between a $17 ticket or a $20 ticket, depending on if they would like to participate in the optional $3 raffle. The money from the raffle will be donated to the Epilepsy Alliance of Ohio. Any other questions concerning the gala may also be sent to the club’s email.

By Alanna Belmont | Staff Writer