Chronic Babe Creator: Jenni Prokopy

By Wendy |

Entrant: Cinnamon Cooper

Nominee: Jenni Prokopy, www.chronicbabe.com Creator

Jenni

When I met Jenni 7 years ago I was in denial that I had a chronic illness. I didn’t like talking about my pain or my limits or even acknowledging that I had them because I didn’t want people to think I was weak. And when I sadly admitted to Jenni that I suffered from a chronic disease she smiled, gave me a high-five and said “Me, too, Babe!” And then I felt like I’d joined some cook-kids club where an illness is not the defining factor of me, but my attitude about myself is.

When she started talking about creating a website (www.chronicbabe.com) for women who were suffering from chronic illnesses but who wanted to focus on living life as a babe, instead of living life as a patient, I supported her fully since I knew what she’d done for my sense of self with one smile. I’ve seen her cry because she’s received touching emails from people who have let her know how she has affected them positively and given them the strength to: push their doctors for more information, convince a TSA official to not harass them for carrying a suitcase of drugs, bling out their inhaler and flaunt their asthma, and even just feel comfortable saying “I can’t do that today.”

She’s like a one-woman strength-based hurricane who has no qualms about squashing insensitivity, but because she’s a Southern gal she knows how to do it with smile and sass.

Pictured above is Jenni holding the handbag I made for her.

18 Comments

  1. Nickie says:

    It’s great to see some of my favorite heroes who have helped me along my journey be honored here. I know that Jenny has helped me, each article she write speaks to the struggles and opportunities of living with chronic pain and illness. Thanks to her, I’m moving toward being a babe.

  2. Claire Smith says:

    Jenni is an amazing babe, her website is an inspiration, her goodie bag emails are top and I always look forward to them, I think if you are a chronic babe or dude or not she has the most amazing tips for getting the most out of life. She was also kind enough to send me some buttons in the post, which became badges when they got to me in the UK!

  3. Amy Clouse says:

    I came across Jenni’s blog via the professional section of medscape.com, where she’d been featured on medical grand rounds. I clicked the links after reading the information, and found a companion in arms. I am a disabled – but not defeated – “older Babe” and I had been searching for someone, somewhere, who had chronic illnesses but did not let the illnesses have her and did not whine – or admitted it when it was a whiny day, admitting we all have them, and that as long as you limit that, you’re OK, you haven’t given in. Everyone I knew was either in denial about their illness or on whine mode Alpha. Jenni’s a breath of fresh air and I am honored to have met her via her website.

    I only have had to live with this for half my life. Young women have often been chronic babes since they were very young, and haven’t had a start to life without dealing with this. Jenni’s site fills a vital need and I have recommended it to countless people, old and young, who deal with chronic illnesses. Her links to specific sites for various illnesses are so helpful and I look forward to the Goodie Bag emails.

  4. Jenni Prokpy says:

    thank you so much, everyone! i’m so honored to be part of this group of nominees, and grateful for Cinnamon and everyone who has taken the time to vote and comment. you’re all totally babe-a-licious! be well…

  5. Issadora says:

    There aren’t many places out there for young adults with chronic illnesses. It’s like we’re the forgotten and invisible so chronic babe brings light to the fact that not only that we are here but we can be fashionable, have fun, and learn to care for ourselves with flare.

    Jenni took her negative experience of dealing with chronic illness and turned it into a way to help others like herself. to reach out and prosper. I just love the name, the site, the smiles, and beauty. It makes me feel good and so glad it exists.. are aren’t going to be forgotten and invisible with people like Jenni and chronicbabe.com around.

  6. Shannon says:

    High Five! I love my goodie bags every couple weeks – they really keep my spirits up and it’s nice to feel like there are other people out there who refuse to let their illness define them. I don’t have a problem with the illness – I have a problem how people treat me when they find out! *chuckle* It’s great to have a community of others who feel the same.

    Thanks Jenni!! you are one rockin’ babe.

  7. Angelique says:

    Jenni is wonderful! I love getting the goodie bags and the great info and insights they bring. It’s such a relief to know I’m not alone when it comes to dealing with my chronic illness. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referred other babes to her site!

  8. Paige says:

    Jenni has really helped diagram and map the path to better living and coping with the challenging world of autoimmunity and keeping one’s sense of self!

    Thanks so much for your site and articles Jenni!

  9. Judy Schriener says:

    I knew Jenni through a professional trade group and when she went off to do chronicbabe.com full-time, I supported her and signed up for her Goodie Bag newsletter just as a friend. I soon learned that I could use her helpful tips and benefit from her web site, her attitude, her tweets and her interaction with others just as much as someone with a chronic illness. Then, I got arthritis and chronic hip pain (leading to a total hip replacement next month) and I’m so glad I’ve got her sunshine and her tools to help me with all of that. Jenni helps so many people — she’s the best!

  10. ( cocoa) says:

    Jenni Keeps me sane on this journey. When my head is spinning and things get out of control. I often just read through articles on her site.

  11. Petula says:

    I can’t recall how I came across ChronicBabe, but I have been really enjoying it. It’s a place where you have permission to rest and encouragement to get things done.

  12. Connie says:

    I love Jenni because she shares her life with us. So many of us can sit back and think that’s just like how we feel, or what we’ve been through. I love her humor, her strength and her weakness too. She’s not afraid to show us all sides of living with a chronic illness.

    Keep inspiring us Jenni to be ChronicBabe(s).

  13. Stacy says:

    It has been an absolute pleasure watching Jenni & ChronicBabe succeed and grow over the years. Jenni is an amazing asset to the internet and women everywhere. We are so lucky to have someone like her to show that ChronicBabe’s can kick ass, too! :)

  14. Kristin says:

    I am so proud to say that Jenni is a personal friend and I got to see chronicbabe.com first come into being just from the idea stage to where it is now. I am positively blown-away at Jenni’s ability to achieve what she wants and dreams and humbled at her beautiful and giving way of handling her own chronic illness–by helping and giving hope (and humor!) to so many others. I have had a chronic illness since age 19 and I only wish this had been around for me then–and I am so glad it is around for scared 19-year-olds (and so many others) now.

    I am delighted to cast this vote and proud of both Jenni and Cinnamon, who wrote this wonderful entry. Both are powerful women empowering other women and nothing makes me happier than that. They truly make the world a better place in which to live.

  15. Nancy says:

    I found Chronic Babe a few months ago while searching for any type of help for my chronic illnesses. Well, I came upon Chronic Babe and check it weekly and sometimes daily. It is the only support I receive as my family is not much support right now and I feel that she and my other sister babes can help me out with any problem I am having. All I do is look it up on the website. It is wonderful! Thanks Jenni for everything!