Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wear Blue Saturday!

This morning when I dropped OZL off at school, I picked up a flyer explaining everything that his school is doing to support National Breast Cancer Awareness month. As a woman myself (with breasts I love!) I think it is fantastic that such an important cause gets so much attention in the month of October. 

However, I have to admit that I do find it a bit frustrating that, while everyone knows to wear pink this month, almost no one seems to know to wear blue on Saturday to support World Arthritis Day. Every October the one day set aside for arthritis awareness seems to get lost in a month of pink.

But, rather than just being frustrated, I decided that I need to do something to increase awareness about arthritis. So I sent the school the following email. I hope that they decide to get involved in this cause too!! (Spoiler alert: I am the honoree at this year's Denver Jingle Bell run. More about that in a future post!)
Dear School Director~

When I dropped OZL off at school this morning I picked up a flyer about everything the school is doing to raise awareness for breast cancer - wearing pink, providing information, raising money. As a woman with breasts myself I have to say that I think what you are doing is fantastic!!  I know that 1 in 8 (12%) of women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetimes. 
But did you know that this Saturday, October 12th is World Arthritis Day? Or that 1 in 5 (22%) of adults in the United States suffer from arthritis? Or that there are more than 300,000 children growing up with arthritis? Or that arthritis and its related complications can sometimes be life-threatening? 
While I obviously support breast cancer awareness, sometimes I find it a bit sad that the single day set aside for arthritis awareness seems to get lost in a month of pink. I do a lot of volunteer work with the Arthritis Foundation, so I have met a lot of kids growing up with arthritis. Did you know that there are more kids growing up with arthritis than with juvenile diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and muscular dystrophy COMBINED? I know a teenage girl who had both of her hips replaced by the time she was fourteen. I have met kids who were diagnosed with arthritis when they were learning how to walk. These kids will never know a life without arthritis, but most of the world doesn't even know that kids get arthritis too. 
Seeing as World Arthritis Day is the day after tomorrow, I realize that it is probably too late for the school to do anything to recognize it (this year!). However, if you are interested, I wanted to offer another way for the school to get involved in a cause that affects so many children. 
I am the honoree this year for the Denver Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis (I have rheumatoid arthritis myself and it played a huge role in my ability to have OZL). The walk is a really fun event for kids - with costumes and activities (last year Santa was there!) - and the money raised goes to arthritis research, so that maybe someday kids (and adults!) won't have to live each day with arthritis. 
Would the school be interested in passing out a flyer about the event? Or I would really love to have any member of the school - staff or parent or child! - join Team Z and walk with us! Or perhaps the school would want to start a team of its own? 
Please let me know if you might be interested. And thank you for everything that you do! We are very happy to be part of the school family!

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