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Meet OurVolunteers

Karin Fendick

Karin Fendick

Chronic Joy® Poetry Coordinator and Writer

Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord; saved by grace; a worshiper; a poet; a broken heart; a lover of words; hungry for truth; amazed by love; on the Potter's wheel His work in progress. After five years in Africa, Karin and her beloved husband of twenty years, Rick, are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. Author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).

Hailey Hudson

Hailey Hudson

Volunteer Content Writer

Hailey is a full-time freelance writer who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. At 21 years old, Hailey has been chronically ill for several years and has been diagnosed with several conditions that have primarily neurological manifestations - she also deals with chronic pain, fatigue, GI issues, and other symptoms on a daily basis. Hailey is passionate about doing ministry and advocacy work in the area of chronic illness and is currently writing a book on how the American church can better support its chronically ill members. As her health allows, Hailey loves to read, dance in shows at her local theatre, and write letters to her many pen pals. She is learning day-by-day how to dwell with the Lord. Check out Hailey's blog.

Dee Richards

Dee Richards

Facebook • Care Coordinator

Dee is a faith-filled servant of God, with two beautiful teenage daughters who are the loves of her life. She struggles with paranoid schizophrenia and depression, and following a life-altering experienced, dedicated her life to serving God. After working as an accountant for many years, Dee now volunteers at a local nursing home, for Everybody Wins Iowa, and Chronic Joy®. She is also an assistant teacher in the Rite of Christian Initiation as Adults at her church. In her free time, Dee enjoys reading the Bible, historical fiction, and romance novels, walking, and sharing her heart on Facebook.

Megan Willome

Megan Willome

Chronic Joy® Poetry Coordinator

Megan is a contributing writer for Wacoan magazine in Waco, Texas, the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post, and Magnolia Journal. She is also an editor at T.S. Poetry Press and the author of The Joy of PoetryShe lives in the Texas Hill Country, where she writes and edits from home. Links to her work can be found at her website, meganwillome.com and Twitter. Megan's day is incomplete without poetry and tea.

Gayl Wright

Gayl Wright

Chronic Joy® Content Coordinator, Editor & Writer

Gayl Wright lives in a log home partly surrounded by woods in upstate South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Married 46 years, mother of 7, grandmother of 14, a seeker of truth who looks for beauty in ordinary things. You may find her walking in the woods, sitting on the hillside or relaxing in the porch swing. She loves to explore new areas of creativity as she writes for her blog, composes poems,dabbles in her art journal or captures images with photography.

Writing from her heart about all of life, she seeks to encourage others and glorify God. Two sons and three grandsons were diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (MD), so she is well acquainted with chronic illness. Having lost both parents and one of her sons, she is also familiar with grief. She is a contributing writer to the book Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat, which can be found on Amazon. You can read more of her writing at her blog, Words, Photos and Art.

Elyse Ogbourne

Elyse Ogbourne

Chronic Joy® Creative Contributor

Elyse is a college student with a fondness for the outdoors. After a simple slip on the ice left her with a chronic pain syndrome, she began to see how God really does work all things for good. Armed with Biblical truth and her TENS unit, Elyse uses her experiences to encourage young adults with the message that they can thrive in the face of difficult circumstances.

Katie Piquette

Katie Piquette

Volunteer Pinterest Coordinator

Katie is a wife, mother, and homemaker. Chronic illness and mental illness impact her daily life as she has suffered from chronic migraines with aura and anxiety since she was a child. She is also a mother to a child with sensory issues and anxiety. Through all of that, Katie finds joy and purpose in studying God’s Word, spending time with and caring for her family, baking and cooking whatever she can, spending time in God’s beautiful creation, and trying new crafts and hobbies. Pinterest is one of Katie's passions and a go-to source for inspiration, Biblical encouragement, and fun family ideas.

Dana Beth Stenholtz

Dana Beth Stenholtz

Chronic Joy® #PenToPaper Ambassador

Dana is a freelance writer and poet. She lives with Bipolar and Fibromyalgia, and believes firmly in the promise of Jeremiah 29:11, which states, “’I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.’” By sending hand-written notes to friends and neighbors, Dana hopes to encourage people to find joy in the midst of whatever struggles they find themselves. She stands firm on the motto that we are not alone, knowing that can make all the difference.

Sam Re

Sam Re

Creative Contributor and A Voice of Chronic Joy®

Sam lives at the crossroads of creativity and curiosity, loves a puzzling challenge, and prefers the journey to the destination.

Sam is diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos, eosinophilic gastroenteritis, dysautonomia, a very genetic mutation, and additional challenging illnesses.

Find him at instagram.com/thechronicphenix.

Sean Keller

Sean Keller

Volunteer Project Coordinator

Sean Keller is a creative entrepreneur passionate about empowering people through vulnerable storytelling. His drive to share raw, truthful content flows from wrestling through his own health journey since age 12. That struggle serves as his foundation for connecting authentically to Jesus, people and his craft.

Emerson Mertens

Emerson Mertens

Chronic Joy® Creative Contributor

Emerson is a graphic designer, photographer, and artist with over twenty years of experience in the arts. She began her artistic training in classical ballet and the performing arts, which led to a career as a professional dancer, instructor, and choreographer. Emerson is inspired by her life-long love of the arts to create unique digital media and photo art, and she combines her years of experience with the skills gained from her college studies. She now works with HeatherMertens.org building websites and creating graphic media and digital art for clients. In 2019, Emerson graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Religion: Biblical and Theological Studies with an emphasis in Photography and Graphic Design.
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