Updated: Jan 12
Hi! My name is Jordyn Feenberg (she/her), and I am the founder of Connecting 2 Heal. I hope that I can play an active role in helping teens find innovative ways to heal.
I have a dysfunctioning autonomic nervous system, which affects my entire body and causes me to experience chronic pain. This all resulted from several concussions and other head injuries that I sustained over a period of 18 months. At most times my condition is debilitating. During these times, I have felt isolated and misunderstood, especially by the stigma attached to invisible conditions and disabilities.
Shortly after my first head injury (March 2019), I was told I would be all better in a week. That was far from the case. I quickly became stuck in a seemingly endless revolving door full of medications and doctors. I was hopeless and defeated. Likely because of my bad luck and clumsiness, I kept getting head injuries. I later learned that these repeated head traumas altered my brain signals and sent me constant pain to protect myself from the awaiting injury. My nervous system became severely set off. I was constantly fighting to recover but my life was taken over by a ceaseless cycle of chronic fatigue, pain, and GI issues.
After dedicating countless hours to various treatments, I progressively got worse. I could no longer attend school and had to go on a home-hospital school plan. Giving up a dream of mine, I was forced to quit competitive school cheer. I felt so alone. I was convinced that there was no one who could understand what I was going through. After what felt like meeting with every doctor and specialist throughout Los Angeles, I was stuck with no answers or progress; and felt more isolated than ever before.
After an entire summer where I was unable to move, sleep or eat, I spent several months at the Stanford Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program (PREP). In PREP I received care and treatment from incredible specialists perfectly fit for my needs. This program transformed my daily routine, improved the quality of my life, gave me back my daily function, and taught me how to manage my pain. Although my symptoms and conditions persist, I have gained the tools and coping strategies that have allowed me to forge meaning from despair.
Throughout my journey, my goal has been to create a platform that allows teens to connect with one another and support each other throughout their healing process. In the PREP program, I was fortunate to meet other chronically ill kids, which allowed me to discover the importance of truly being understood.
Aside from Connecting 2 Heal, I am a youth board member for CHYP (https://mychyp.org/ ) where I work actively among other teens to find creative ways to help build and grow their organization. This program works creatively to support kids in chronic pain.
Although I am very passionate about Connecting 2 heal, there is much more to me. I love being creative, fashion, listening to music, journalism, and spending time with my friends and family! I have a twin brother, an older sister, and a dog named Chloe.
My pain has given me purpose. I want to help and support others that are chronically ill, finding ways designed for them to heal and ensuring that they are understood.
I am beyond excited to start this project. Let's get connecting!