This Saturday in East Vancouver, the crew over at Yoga Outreach is hosting a Hoovie on the topic of chronic pain and illness, with proceeds supporting their work to make yoga more accessible for people in prisons, domestic violence transition houses, addiction recovery centres and mental health facilities.

“We really wanted to host a gathering/fundraiser, and then we found Hoovie. We like the idea of getting people together to talk about important/challenging stuff, but in a kind of low key, easygoing way,” says Wendy Goldsmith, Yoga Outreach‘s Marketing and Communications Coordinator.

“When we were choosing our film, Unrest seemed really perfect. I had a close friend whose mother died in part because of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). And several of us have other chronic conditions that, while not the same, have us feeling a lot of empathy for the struggle of self-advocacy, and personal fulfillment within difficult health limitations. Plus, it really seemed to fit with our mandate to support people recovering from trauma in making friends with their bodies again.”

A personal journey from patient to advocate to storyteller, Unrest tells the story of Jennifer Brea, one of millions of people battling with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). When doctors tell her it’s “all in her head,” she turns her camera on herself and her community as she looks for answers and fights for a cure. Watch the trailer.

Wendy and her team – including two board members (a human rights lawyer and a social worker) who’ll be facilitating the post-film discussion – are hoping to create a space for those suffering with chronic conditions to talk about their experience as well as opportunities for advocacy and activism when confronted by an apathetic medical system.

“With Unrest as our focal point, we’re stacking the room with people who care about the same hassles you do,” says Wendy. “We hope you’ll take this opportunity to meet them, and us.”

We hope you’ll take a moment to share this event so that those silently suffering behind closed doors can learn about this opportunity to plug in with a like-minded community of support.

In solidarity,
Hilary + Fiona, Hoovie co-founders