Effie Koliopoulos : RA, Crowdfunding Disability Placard Documentary, and Writing Kidlit

Effie Koliopoulos : RA, Crowdfunding Disability Placard Documentary, and Writing Kidlit

self publishing kidlit

Website/Blog, Twitter, & Instagram Handle


Name *

Effie Koliopoulos

Age *


What is your disorder? *

Rheumatoid arthritis (juvenile)

At what age did your disorder become a daily issue? *


Who were you before your illness became debilitating? *

Same person I am now, just transformed and evolved into the person I am meant to be.

What would you do if you were not dealing with your invisible illness? *

Travel the world and live in another state (which I could still do).

What would you like people to know about your daily life? *

Each day is different you don’t know what to expect at times.

What would make living and moving in the world easier for you? *

To have this disease disappear, lol

Do you have any life hacks? *

I have many depending on the subject. One life hack is stop explaining yourself to people and kick those out of your life who don’t have your back, to make room for those that truly do!

What kind of support do you get from family or friends? *

Family offers a differing support because they have been there from the beginning and know all the details of what I’ve gone through on a level friends don’t because they haven’t lived with me or even experienced it on the level family has. Unfortunately, support from friends has only been from a few and it can be offering social support, having someone to vent to or take you away from the daily grind of invisible illness to do something fun. Those who I thought supported actually turned out to be the opposite. Thankfully I found that out now than later. Times and hard times always reveal who is truly in your corner.

Have you ever had someone not believe you have an invisible illness because of your appearance and if so are there any examples that stand out? *

Yea, I had cops called on me for using a disability parking placard. Someone thought I was misusing it and issues a complaint. Cops showed up to my door. This was ten years ago and I’m actually creating a short film on this subject and have a crowdfunding campaign going on till 3/31. If we don’t make our goal we have plans to delay filming when weather is also better here in Midwest and to launch in October for invisible illness week. So hopefully we can! Regardless it’s worth keeping an eye out for, you don’t want to miss it!

How has your invisible illness affected your relationships? *

People not understanding, questioning you, getting impatient. My illness is also visible too in that physical signs can be seen but sometimes only if I point is out or it’s obvious if I’m not covering it up.

Is there anything you are afraid to tell people in your life? *

Nope. Those I’m afraid to tell things to shouldn’t be in my life and that’s how I know I’ll vibe and connect with someone.

Does the fact that your disease is invisible change how healthcare professionals treat you? *

No, but when I was having symptoms from 16 doctors said I was healthy and fine chalking it up to growing pains. I knew they were wrong and proved them wrong two years later after being diagnosed,

What is your best coping mechanism? *

Prayer, meditation, exercise, being in nature, swimming in the ocean if I’m by one, social support, watching a funny movie or tv show and bunch more.

What are you the most concerned about and the most hopeful for in the future? *

Concerned how I’ll manage a family if I choose to have one and surgeries I need for elbow and other joints. But honestly, I’ll worry about it when I get there- best advice. So many tools are out there to help cope and offer support and I know I can get through it by my supportive family. Hopeful to be in remission and researchers to find targeted solutions for diagnosis and treatment to cure this once and for all!

What is your favorite swear word?


Is there anything you want to make sure we talk about during the interview? Like an organization you want to promote or something specific that you deal with.

My children’s book I’m working on for kids with juvenile arthritis, chronic illness and disability. Also the video project I talked about above.

What is the hardest and/or best lesson your condition has taught you?

Hardest- to stop saying yes and look after yourself. Best- self love and knowing my worth

What is the best purchase under $100 that helped your life

My pillow and dragon speaking program which I have yet to set up but I know it will help. These are first two things out of my head.

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