One out of three people have ongoing - or chronic - illness to deal with ever day. So what exactly is a chronic illness? Very simply, it's a group of health conditions that last a long time. In fact, the root word of chronic is "chronos," which refers to time. And it's not just the length of time sufferers have to deal with a chronic illness, it often takes a long time for an accurate diagnosis followed by an even greater amount of time finding the right cocktail of medication to alleviate symptoms.