What Awareness Means To Me: Katie Schwartz
To me, Awareness for Autoimmune Diseases means:
- A willingness to step outside of our comfort zone.
- A yearning for change so profound, we will not be deterred or swayed from our goals.
- We demonstrate unreserved commitment to ensure our voices are heard.
Adrienne Rich, one of my favorite authors wrote “The moment of change is the only poem”.
According to Webster’s, the definition of poem is “a composition in verse, esp. one that is characterized by a highly developed artistic form and by the use of heightened language and rhythm to express an intensely imaginative interpretation of the subject…
On Dear Thyroid’s website, patients write and submit love and hate letters to their thyroids; poems, Haiku’s, and, among other things, rants. Additionally, families write letters to their loved one’s thyroids.
We comment on each other’s posts. Leaping through the Ethernet, our fingers vehemently dance across our keyboards fluently conveying our tales, affection, fear, kindness, support, humor and offering resources, among other things.
By doing this, our collective voices equate to intolerance about being dismissed by doctors, friends and others unwilling to fight for us. Therefore, we must do it for ourselves. Furthermore, by writing and sharing our stories. Though some of us have the same disease, we exhibit different symptoms and reactions to medications. We are collectively enunciating that we are more than the sum of our numbers. In kind, reminding the world and the medical community that our respective diseases are not to be taken lightly.
Patients with thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases and cancers, akin to patients with other chronic conditions and cancers, are financially impoverished, relationships forever transformed and lives irrevocably altered.
We must continue writing and submitting letters, as well as connecting with each other in comments. If we are ever going to create the kind of awareness we so rightfully deserve, our stories must be told. Each chronicles an anomalous yarn of the same disease. , And with pride, wear our diseases on our sleeves and awareness on our wrists.
I have unwavering confidence in our ability as a community to invoke change. Are you with me?! Let’s kick some serious awareness ass!
If you haven’t read “Full Lips, Curvy Hips and the Tightest Little Thyroid You’ve Ever Seen“, check it out. Another awareness article with some staggering statistics; but funny.
Tags: autoimmune disease community, autoimmune disease support, autoimmune diseases awareness month March, autoimmune literary community, awareness for autoimmune diseases, community, Graves blog, graves blogger, graves disease support, graves eye disease, literary support, what awareness means to me Katie Schwartz