What’s Happening Now! An Update on Me, Fashionably ill

"What's Happening Now!" (Syndicated) TV-Series 1985-1988
“What’s Happening Now!” (Syndicated) TV-Series 1985-1988
UPDATES: 1) Click here to read about the TV show–we started filming last week! The Pilot is following me as I give a makeover to a woman who just beat stage four “incurable cancer.”

2) GoFundMe page–here–if you’d like to donate to help me film the pilot–cost of makeup, clothes, photography, etc.  Any amount is appreciated.

I haven’t been able to post as frequently on Fashionably ill ® as I would like to lately and there are a few reasons for that–all of them good reasons.  Recently, I got offered a contract on the book I wrote.  Also, I’ve been filming a pilot for a TV show.  I’ve been working to help pass a bill that would increase the number of psychiatric beds in this country for people with the most severe mental illnesses.  I’ve been juggling all of these things with my job-job, coaching high school debate.

The Book

I can’t go into too many details now but sufficed to say, I wrote a book years ago.  Then, my life was invaded by a neuromuscular autoimmune hurricane known as myasthenia gravis.  For eight years, I fought hard to stay alive because I wanted to see my nieces and nephew grow up and because I wanted to see the book published.  I have started working on rewrites of my manuscript.  The final product will be a lot like my TEDx Talk, “How To Get Stuff Done When You Are Depressed.”  It’s going to be half how to–half memoir, on the same subject.  The best way to stay up to date on the status of my book is to subscribe to my free newsletter here.  (Also, if you subscribe, you get my free Depression Tool Kit, which comes with a list of the top 10 tricks for getting stuff done when you are depressed + 4 scripts for explaining depression or bipolar disorder to loved ones, professors, and employers.)

The TV Show

I’ll be writing more about the show soon but all I can say now is that it’s fun.  It’s a TV show that will help many people and create awareness for many illnesses.  The past month, I’ve been securing locations to film and plotting things out with the videographer.  We are looking for our second camera man or camera woman.  (If you know someone who’s a good fit in the Chicago area, email me at jessica@jessicagimeno.com.)  We’ll be filming in November and December.

HR 2646

Last December, Anthony Hernandez asked me for help in passing HR 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.  Anthony’s son has paranoid schizophrenia.  The bill had been stalled in Congress for three years.  I agreed and got to meet many people who have testified before Congress in favor of the bill–people with paranoid schizophrenia, families whose children have paranoid schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and parents who lost their children to mental illness.  In June, I wrote about their stories in The Huffington Post, “HR 2646: The Families of the 4 Percent Speak Out.”  A few days later, HR 2646 passed markup in the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee.  In July, a much modified, less controversial version of HR 2646 passed the House of Representatives 422 to 2.  (You can read more about the current version here on Pete Earley’s website.)  Right now, we are waiting to see what the Senate does.  I’ve been one part of a big team of advocates stretched across the country.  Something I’ve learned from this experience that I did not write about in my HuffPost article is the unconditional love of parents.  I met many families, and I was in awe of the sacrifices parents made for their grown children.  When everyone else has left, the parents are still there.

Watch Me Speak Online! November 5th

I’ll be speaking at the Disability Intersectionality Summit on Saturday, November 5th at 1:40 pm!  You can register for the event here.  The Nonprofit Center of Boston is hosting the summit but I am presenting virtually.  Half the speakers are presenting virtually; many guests are also attending virtually.  You can watch me speak from the comfort of your own computer if you’re not in the Boston area.  The title of my speech is, “Breaking Down Barriers in Asian-American Mental Health.”

–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno

P.S. Everyone remember Rerun?  Yes, you can get season 1 of What’s Happening Now!! here on Amazon.  You’re welcome.

JessicaGimeno

Hi, I have five illnesses--bipolar disorder, myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular autoimmune disease), polycystic ovarian syndrome, asthma, and psoriasis. Most of the organs in my body are affected. I'm dedicated to being a stylist for sick women. As someone who has experienced changes in my appearance due to my 12 meds (including Prednisone), I know how hard it can be when your face and body change overnight. (In fact, because of treatment, between 2008 to 2010, I went from a size 0 to a size 10. While I lost the weight, there are permanent changes in my face and body, which I've grown to appreciate.) My blog will also help women deal with other issues like surviving chronic pain and fatigue. Healthy people can also use this blog as a window into what life with illness is like. Let this website be a place where we can draw strength from each other despite our illnesses and find solutions to our everyday challenges!

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