One of the lesser-known aspects of running a blog is the fact that your email inbox continuously fills up with product pitches and press releases, from any/every company or organization that is the least bit related to arthritis and chronic pain.
I’m not complaining, and I’m definitely not saying that this shouldn’t be done. (I myself have taught some of these same social media marketing techniques in college courses.) While most of what I share here on this blog is a result of my own personal discovery, I’m certainly open to learning about new books, initiatives, awareness campaigns, etc. that I might have not been previously aware of.
So when I received a message a couple of weeks ago, telling me about the Arthritis Foundation’s campaign for World Arthritis Day 2011, I was…quite frankly…disappointed. If you’re not already familiar with the details of this World Arthritis Day campaign, here’s how it works: if on that day you go get a message or facial at any one of the participating locations of a nation-wide massage company that will remain unnamed in this post, then $10 will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation. This is being billed as “A Joint Effort to Fight Arthritis Pain.” (You can read more about it here.) If you want to pitch a product/service, do so…but don’t try to pass it off as something that it’s not.
Okay, I admit, at least there’s a fundraising component…but where’s the part where we try to inform people what RA is all about? Where’s the part where we use this day and the attention it attracts to educate people about all of the different types of arthritis?
Is this the awareness campaign that so many of us who are living with rheumatoid arthritis deserve? In my opinion, no.
As opposed to just ending this ‘rant’ here, I’m going to propose a solution that might actually serve to raise awareness of Rheumatoid Arthritis leading up to this coming World Arthritis Day…and it won’t even cost you a cent! This is all you need to do: share RA Guy’s 60-Second Guide to RA with as many people you know – friends, family, and coworkers. If you’re not already familiar with this resource, it really does only take a minute to read, and it provides a comprehensive explanation that doesn’t require a medical degree to understand. Oh, and there are also a few hand-drawn comic book images that you might enjoy.
Together, all of us can continue to raise awareness about Rheumatoid Arthritis!
Rheumatoid Arthritis: is a chronic, systemic disease; is an auto-immune disease; attacks the body’s tissues; causes chronic pain, weakness & inflammation; can cause severe disability; can cause permanent joint & organ damage; does not have a cure; affects 1.3 million Americans and an estimated 1 to 2% of the population worldwide; does not have a confirmed cause; affects 2-3 times more women than men; can occur at any age, but generally age 30-60; shortens life span; can cause deaths from RA-related causes; is consistent only in its inconsistency in onset, severity and response to therapies between patients.