Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dysautonomia Awareness Month!!

On campus right now everything is PINK. Welcome to Breast Cancer Awareness month. I'm not against supporting breast cancer research, but some of what people are wearing is slightly obnoxious...do you really need bright pink glasses frames that you're wearing indoors??

But people NOTICE, and that's what awareness is all about. Even things as simple as the sports teams wearing pink cleats or jerseys during October...everyone knows what it's for and why the teams are doing that. Twenty years ago, breast cancer was just another cancer that people died from. Now, so much awareness has been raised, so many donations have gone toward research, it's a cancer that is *almost* curable. Talk about incredible progress in medical research just by raising awareness!

I'm not a fan of asking people for money. I'm heading out on a mission trip in a few days, and didn't even want to ask people for support for that. But something that my mom and a few friends pointed out was that not everyone is able to go on a mission trip. God has given me that opportunity, and other people are able to partner with me by helping to send me through financial and prayer support. It is a way for others to join in and be a part of the work God is going to do while I'm in Mexico.

I think my approach to Dyautonomia Awareness can and should be the same. I was to start by just getting the word out there. The incredible progress that has been made in breast cancer research didn't happen overnight. It started with just a few people getting the word out there. My friends and family who have walked this path with me over the past 6+ years cannot always DO anything for me. I cannot always do anything for myself. But we can get the word out there about dysautonomia. So many people have not even heard about dysautonomia, often doctors included. All research is based on funding availability. To get the funding for autonomic research, people have to KNOW about it.

This gets back to my idea of running races to raise awareness for dysautonomia. I want to be a part of getting the word out there, and hopefully finding better treatment to manage symptoms and hopefully find a cure! I'm hoping to do my dissertation on autonomic function in some way and would like that be the start of my own research in this field. Assuming I can get back to actually running races without collapsing or needing IVs, I do want to find a way to use something I enjoy to raise awareness about something that is a huge part of my life.

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