This Saturday, at Rice University, Houston V.I.P. performed at a TEDx talk themed (Un)Common Knowledge. The event was focused on examining commonly held beliefs, and exploring them more deeply. Houston V.I.P.’s performance was titled (In)Visible Diseases, focusing on the illnesses that plague everyday people like ourselves, which are not necessarily visible to the naked eye.
Our performance was introduced by our coach D.E.E.P., and it included three poems. The first was performed by me, Jeremy Eugene, and it focused on the trauma of recalling a family member’s violent passing and having to go into work the next day. The next poem, by Stephanie Bension, told her story of discovering she had Crohn’s disease, and the struggle of getting people to understand what it was. The last poem, by Jordan Simpson, was about his battle with autoimmune disease and overcoming the depression that came after his diagnosis.
With our performance, we hoped to be able to reach out to audience members who had gone through similar things and let them know that they were not alone. Our team also hoped to bring awareness to those who do not have invisible diseases that there are people like us who have big struggles that will not be seen immediately. We were very grateful for the feedback we received, as a number of audience members – from a nursing teacher who remarked that they “see these struggles daily” to college students who had never heard of the diseases before – reached out to us to let us know how much our performance meant to them. We would like to extend our thanks to TEDx and Rice University for giving us a platform to share our stories, and say that we hope to work together again in the future!