Contact: Mary Jo Strobel, Executive Director, (713) 493-7749, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eosinophil-associated disease (EAD) community unites for action and awareness
(Atlanta, GA)— During the week of May 20-26, 2018, the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) is honoring the 11th Annual National Eosinophil Awareness Week (NEAW). NEAW was established in 2007 by APFED, a nonprofit advocacy organization, to support those who have eosinophil-associated diseases (EADs) and raise the level of education and awareness in the public and the medical community about these conditions.
Eosinophils (ee-oh-sin-oh-fil) are a type of white blood cell that play an important part of our immune system, helping us to fight off certain types of infections, such as parasites. Many different problems can cause high numbers of eosinophils in the blood including allergies (food and environmental), certain infections caused by parasites, and other problems. When a person has elevated numbers of eosinophils in their digestive system, tissues, organs, and/or bloodstream, without a known cause, he or she may have an eosinophil-associated disease.
The most common of these diseases are eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGIDS), which affect the gastrointestinal tract and symptoms are often triggered by food. Treatments for these disorders include restricted diets or total food elimination, requiring patients to live off an elemental formula (taken either orally or via a feeding tube) and/or steroid treatments.
In honor of National Eosinophil Awareness Week, members of the eosinophil patient community are joining APFED as we inspire, educate, and remind patients and families that they are not alone.
How You Can Help Us
- Change your profile photo on Facebook to our new awareness frame. Follow this link and use the search box to find “NEAW Frame 2018.”
- Share facts about eosinophil-associated diseases on your social media pages using the hashtag #NEAW18
- Start a Facebook fundraiser to benefit APFED’s Hope on the Horizon Research Fund and ask friends and family to support you
- Download and share our new “I love someone with…” social media graphics; we have ten different subsets of eosinophil-associated disease available for you to highlight
- Join the National Eosinophil Awareness Week community on Facebook and write a post to share what you are doing
- Create your own NEAW event at your home, school, or workplace to inform your community
- Donate to APFED to help support our education, advocacy, support and research initiatives, or organize a local fundraiser; APFED can help!
“The more people who know about eosinophil-associated diseases, the stronger our community becomes and the more we are heard,” said APFED’s Executive Director Mary Jo Strobel. “When we share our stories and educate the broader community, we move everything forward and increase momentum. Increased awareness can lead to faster and better patient care, and it can boost funding for research that will lead us to better diagnostics and treatments.”
Due to the lack of awareness of these diseases, patients may suffer for years without an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Although not commonly life-threatening, these chronic diseases require lifelong treatment and can cause debilitating symptoms. There is no cure, and there are no FDA-approved treatments for many subsets of eosinophil-associated disease.
“It’s through campaigns like NEAW that people who are unfamiliar with these diseases can learn more about them,” said APFED’s President Dr. Wendy Book. “This week mobilizes healthcare providers, researchers, and those living with these diseases to create one powerful, collective voice as we advocate on the issues that matter most to this community, from insurance coverage for medical foods to non-invasive treatment and testing options and much more.”
Organizations, healthcare providers, and institutions around the globe are joining APFED to recognize National Eosinophil Awareness Week by sharing information with their communities and with the public. Nutricia, the makers of Neocate®, a line of amino acid-based products, has partnered with APFED for its celebration of this special week by providing the means for the organization to disseminate educational material to health care providers and to the public.
Visit apfed.org to learn more about eosinophil-associated diseases and the ways our community is celebrating NEAW, about current research efforts, and about community events that are taking place during this special week.
About American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED)
American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) is a non-profit organization dedicated to patients and their families coping with eosinophilic disorders. APFED’s mission is to passionately embrace, support, and improve the lives of patients and families affected by eosinophil-associated diseases through education and awareness, research, support, and advocacy. www.apfed.org