CASSANDRA DA'LUZ VIEIRA
Co-founder, President and Executive Director Cassie’s journey with chronic illness began when she became a caregiver for her mother when she was 16 years old. She watched her mother fight crippling pain, go in and out of hospital and yet stay positive, optimistic, strong, happy and loving while she battled a terrible illness for 6 long years until she passed away in 2011. Having a 2yr old boy of her own at the time, Cassie realized the impact illness can have on your children, and she was determined to show her son that like her mother, one can still accomplish anything they want to, no matter what challenges one may face... not knowing that she too would soon be battling a health fight of her own. Cassie was later diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and chronic Lyme disease, and lives with a multitude of symptoms on a daily basis.
All of this leads to why Cassie is extremely passionate about helping those with a chronic illness live a full, joyful, purposeful life.
It can be a rather lonely world out there living with a chronic illness, and after feeling exceptionally isolated, Cassie reached out to her coworker and friend, Chelsea, about them starting their own support group. It was in that first meeting that they found themselves lit up with passion, feeling their hearts fill up, and so Spoonies Unite was born, along with their other chronic illness based community and resource hub, found at MyWellnessHub.co and their podcast- The Real Life Show: Living with a Chronic Illness.
Cassie is also a certified Pilates instructor and single mom who loves reading, going for walks, coffee, period piece dramas and lots of chocolate!
Co-founder and Vice President Chelsea spent 6 years of her life learning more about how the body moves and is impacted by physical activity while getting her B.S. in Health and Exercise Science and her Masters in Exercise Science.
While she loves taking her knowledge of the body to help people become more active and move better and easier, she felt like something was missing. In 2019 she made the choice to combine her philosophy on listening to one's body and taking care of oneself, her knowledge of how the body works, and her interest in personal development and mindset together to start her life coaching business, Chelsea D Coaching. Now Chelsea helps people connect with themselves, figure out what it is they really want in life, and create habits and systems that allow them to feel their best - stress-free!
Growing up Chelsea watched her grandfather take care of her paraplegic grandmother. She saw first hand from a young age that both the individual in need of some extra care, and the care-taker need love and support to be able to be their best selves. Her grandfather has been a huge influence on her life and she loves having the chance to help people that are always supporting the ones around them. That was a big inspiration in creating Spoonies Unite to be a support ground not just for those with the actual diagnosis, but also for the individuals in their life. Chelsea and Cassie offer resources, guidance, and support to all sides to help create loving, supportive, and understanding environments. Learn more about the resources they're providing at MyWellnessHub.co
Chelsea has a loving fiance, 2 amazing dogs, and loves Harry Potter, ping pong and trying new food!
Co-Chair of the board Lorrie’s journey with chronic illness began as a child, with frequent sickness and unexplained symptoms. She received her first official diagnosis as a teen (endometriosis), but still continued to live an active life into her second pregnancy. Severe pelvic instability and pelvic separation put her on bed rest for over a year. What was originally suspected to be a pregnancy related condition did not improve, but progressively worsened, leaving her mostly bed bound and using a wheelchair for 5 years. Eventually she received the diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hypermobility type). This was rapidly followed by an ever growing list of secondary conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and Lupus.
Eventually, she stepped outside of Western medicine’s answers to find her own solutions. These days she is healthier than anyone thought possible, though still deals with low energy, daily pain, and limitations from her conditions.
After seeing Lorrie’s dramatic external results, as well as her inner peace and love for life—in the midst of health issues—many others sought her help. So she took all that she had learned and began coaching. Based in Los Angeles, when she isn’t coaching, you’ll likely find her playing board games with her family or engrossed in her favorite novel.
Connect with Lorrie a www.lorriegray.com
Co-Chair and Treasurer of the board Abby Morris is passionate about helping fellow spoonie warriors because she understands the financial and emotional commitment of living with a chronic condition. After contracting Epstein-Barr Virus in the 8th grade and never recovering, Abby was eventually diagnosed with POTS and a slew of other medical conditions at the Mayo Clinic when she was just 13. She was able to graduate middle school and high school at the same time as her peers with the help of her parents, teachers, her dog Humphrey, and Jesus. Abby then went on to graduate with a B.A. in Finance from Texas Christian University with flying colors...and a passion for TCU Football! She has been able to manage her POTS symptoms with her faith in Jesus, functional medicine, and alternative pain solutions.
While trying to live her days to her fullest capabilities, you can find Abby connecting with fellow spoonies, cuddling with her dog, fly fishing, online shopping, listening to the Beatles, watching sports with her husband, or giving gifts.
You can connect with Abby via her business on Instagram @knownandgifted or email, which is email@example.com.