Rare Disease Day 2017

Today is #RareDiseaseDay 2017! Today, with events taking place in over 90 countries all around the world, we hope to raise more awareness than ever for rare diseases!

With the theme of research, and the slogan, ‘With research, the possibilities are limitless’, #RareDiseaseDay 2017 is an opportunity to call on all researchers, universities, students, companies, policymakers and clinicians to do more research and to make them aware of the importance of research for the rare disease community.

This year’s Rare Disease Day video, which has been viewed over a hundred thousand times and translated into over 30 languages,  draws a parallel with a routine that many of us go through multiple times a day – searching for an answer on the internet. The video highlights how isolating it is when you search on the internet but receive the response ‘your search had no results’. It also highlights the hope and promise that comes with additional research into rare diseases, something that must be continuously strived for.

You are still able to participate in raising awareness of the day and be part of the change, by sharing the video, the poster, or any Rare Disease Day material on your Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms.

This year, on the tenth edition of the day, Rare Disease Day events will be held for the first time in four African nations, Botswana, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan. Events will also be held for the first time in Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

Learn more at http://www.rarediseaseday.org/page/news/today-is-rare-disease-day-2017

Day 26, Cushing’s Awareness Challenge 2016

 

So often during the diagnosis phase of Cushing’s I felt like this picture – I was walking alone to an unknown place with an unknown future.

My diagnosis was pre-Internet which meant that any information had to be gotten from libraries, bookstores, magazines…or doctors.  In 1983 to 1986 I knew something was terribly wrong but there was no backup from doctors, family or friends.  My first hope was from a magazine (see Day Six)

After I got that first glimmer of hope, it was off to the library to try to understand medical texts.  I would pick out words I did understand – and it was more words each trip.  I made Xerox copies of my findings to read at home and try to digest. (I still have all those old pages!)

All my research led me to Cushing’s.

Unfortunately, the research didn’t lead me to doctors who could help for several years.  That contributed greatly to the loneliness.  If a Doctor says you’re not sick, friends and family are going to believe the doctor, not you.  After all, he’s the one trained to know what’s wrong, or find out.

I was so grateful when I finally got into a clinical trial at NIH and was so nice not to be alone with this mystery illness.  I was also surprised to learn, awful as I felt, there were Cushies much worse off than I was.

I am so glad that the Internet is here now helping us all know that we’re not alone anymore.

 

 

We’re all in this together with help, support, research, just being there.  I love this quote from Catherine at http://wheniwasyou.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/wheniwasyou/

Mary, I am delighted to see you here. Cushings – because of the persistent central obesity caused by (we know now) the lack of growth hormone plus the hypothyroidism I was diagnosed with (but for which treatment was ineffective due to my lack of cortisol) – was one of the things I considered as an explanation for my symptoms. Your site was enormously educational and helpful to me in figuring out what might be happening to me. Those other patient testimonies I referred to? Many of them were the bios you posted. Thank you so much for commenting. I am so grateful for the support and encouragement. I really hope that my experiences will help other undiagnosed hypopituitary patients find their way to a diagnosis. I often used to dream that one day I’d get to say to others what was so often said to me: don’t give up, there will be an answer. I kept believing in myself because people I hadn’t even met believed in me. Now I am finally here and I do hope my story will help others to have faith in their own instincts.

Thanks again. Please do keep in touch.

Catherine

RARE Patient Advocacy Summit

 

I’m on my way to California today.  I was nominated for an award in the 2015 Tribute to Champions of Hope so I’ll be flying to Huntington Beach  for the 2-day  Fourth Annual RARE Patient Advocacy Summit. Follow along with LiveStream.

Saturday night will be the Gala.

Find my name on the list of nominees here: https://globalgenes.org/championsofhope/

One of the very best parts of this trip, though, is that I’m staying with a good friend from the Cushing’s Community.

WOOHOO

 

RARE Patient Advocacy Summit Details and Invitation

We would like to invite you and your community to join us for our fourth annual RARE Patient Advocacy Summit September 24 – 25, 2015 in Huntington Beach, California!  Join the community at this unique event for rare disease patients and advocates: Connect. Educate. Engage. Achieve. 

Registration is open!

This Summit is for every patient, patient advocacy leader, and anyone who cares about rare.  Please take a look at this year’s compelling agenda and consider participating in an event that you won’t want to miss!

 

Why attend? Here’s what you’ll gain:

  • Practical next steps for taking action in the areas of research, legislation, fundraising, and community support
  • Core fundamentals and skills to help you start, grow and strengthen your nonprofit organization
  • Strategies for building online communities and why they are essential for rare disease awareness
  • Understanding the power of genetic data and patient involvement for advancing research for your disease
  • Tools and insights into crafting successful collaborations with researchers, biotech, pharma and the FDA
  • Invaluable connections with advocacy leaders that will help you define and propel your rare disease priorities forward

Register for the Summit and learn more on travel scholarships

Register now and secure your spot at the leading conference for rare disease patient advocates today!  We have a limited number of travel scholarships available, which you may request here.  Scholarship applications will be accepted through July 27, 2015.

 

Want to learn more?  Sign up for our Information Session!

Sign up today for an information session on the Summit where we’ll walk you through the details, the agenda and opportunities to learn and connect, and more on how to share this with your community. Here’s how to register for the information session on July 15, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. PDT/5:00 p.m. EDT. Patients, advocates, advocacy group leaders – all are welcome to participate!

 

Can’t attend in person?

There is no reason you, your organizational leadership or community should miss out!  Sign up to join the conference via Livestream through your computer and learn more about how you can still be an active participant using Twitter.

 

We hope to see you at the Summit!

 

Sincerely,

Kym, Carrie & Lisa

 

Kym H. Kilbourne                                          

VP, Patient Advocacy                                     

kymk@globalgenes.org

 

Carrie Ostrea

Manager, Advocacy/Parent Advocate

carrieo@globalgenes.org

 

Lisa Schill

Advocacy Ambassador/Parent Advocate

lschill@globalgenes.org 

Day Twenty-seven, Cushing’s Awareness Challenge 2015

So often during the diagnosis phase of Cushing’s I felt like this picture – I was walking alone to an unknown place with an unknown future.

My diagnosis was pre-Internet which meant that any information had to be gotten from libraries, bookstores, magazines…or doctors.  In 1983 to 1986 I knew something was terribly wrong but there was no backup from doctors, family or friends.  My first hope was from a magazine (see Day Six)

After I got that first glimmer of hope, it was off to the library to try to understand medical texts.  I would pick out words I did understand – and it was more words each trip.  All my research led me to Cushing’s.

Unfortunately, the research didn’t lead me to doctors who could help for several years.  That contributed greatly to the loneliness.  If a Doctor says you’re not sick, friends and family are going to believe the doctor, not you.  After all, he’s the one trained to know what’s wrong, or find out.

I was so grateful when I finally got into a clinical trial at NIH and was so nice not to be alone with this mystery illness.  I was also surprised to learn, awful as I felt, there were Cushies much worse off than I was.

I am so glad that the Internet is here now helping us all know that we’re not alone anymore.

 

 

We’re all in this together with help, support, research, just being there.  I love this quote from Catherine at http://wheniwasyou.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/wheniwasyou/

Mary, I am delighted to see you here. Cushings – because of the persistent central obesity caused by (we know now) the lack of growth hormone plus the hypothyroidism I was diagnosed with (but for which treatment was ineffective due to my lack of cortisol) – was one of the things I considered as an explanation for my symptoms. Your site was enormously educational and helpful to me in figuring out what might be happening to me. Those other patient testimonies I referred to? Many of them were the bios you posted. Thank you so much for commenting. I am so grateful for the support and encouragement. I really hope that my experiences will help other undiagnosed hypopituitary patients find their way to a diagnosis. I often used to dream that one day I’d get to say to others what was so often said to me: don’t give up, there will be an answer. I kept believing in myself because people I hadn’t even met believed in me. Now I am finally here and I do hope my story will help others to have faith in their own instincts.

Thanks again. Please do keep in touch.

Catherine

 

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