Raising Awareness…in a, uh, new way.

The other day I was driving with R.J and Happy to the dog park when we passed a church. The members were outside protesting something on the side of the road. With my eyesight not being so great it looked like one of the signs said this:

ARTHRITUS
HURTS WOMEN

And I burst out laughing. Obviously that wasn’t what the sign actually said, but with the frilly pink font, it sure looked like it to me. And I thought: what a hilariously inefficient way to fight a disease—and what a great way to actually raise awareness about how much it sucks to have it!

I mean, think about it. What if you were walking down the street and saw a group of protesters with signs reading things like:

F*CK YOU LUPUS, I DON’T EVEN LIKE YOU.

Or something like:

VERTIGO IS A DIZZY BITCH.

Or even:

NO ONE INVITED YOU TO THE PARTY, FIBROMYALGIA. GO HOME.

Poignant, right?

I’m making this point because for the twelfth month in a row, its breast cancer awareness month. Pink fucking everywhere. And awareness flooding into your consciousness everywhere you look.  Pink water bottles with money going to research! Pink lipsticks to help create more support groups! Pink labels on every single products so that YOU know that THEY care about breast health.

When was the last time your local taco restaurant threw a churro eating contest in honor of dysautonomia awareness? Never? You’re kidding.

Some horrible diseases get all the luck.

As I’ve watched my mother create the new miniseries “Unveiling The Mystery of Rare and Genetic Diseases” for Lifetime TV’s Daily Talk Show, “The Balancing Act” I’ve started to unravel the mystery of why some diseases get more press and awareness than others.

See, in order for things like cures, support organizations, informational organizations and awareness campaigns to get off the ground for a particular disease—they need support. Of every kind! Financial support. Patient interest. Doctor interest. Pharmaceutical company’s interest.

Let’s face it: rare diseases are…uh….rare. And if we want to rally for the support and research funding for new treatments we’ve got to scream a little louder than the local AIDS group. We’ve got to make a little more raucous than the diabetes organization. We’ve got to show the world that there are valuable people with road-blocking diseases that need help yesterday.

So maybe we should start protesting our rare, chronic and genetic diseases.

Feel like making your own protest sign against your disease? Feel free to post a link to it in the comments and I’ll include it in a follow up post this week!

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