Community rallies for action and awareness of chronic, inflammatory conditions
(Atlanta, GA)—The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) will celebrate the 13th Annual National Eosinophil Awareness Week (NEAW) from May 17-23, 2020 by engaging people across the country to raise awareness of these conditions and encouraging patients and families to share their experiences and perspectives. NEAW is a time to reflect on the progress that our community has made by working together, and to inspire others to take action to advance our goal of finding a cure.
Eosinophils (pronounced “ee-oh-sin-oh-fills”) are a type of white blood cell that has a role in our immune systems, fighting off infections and parasites. They are also involved in allergic reactions and inflammatory processes. When a person has too many eosinophils in their digestive system, tissues, organs, and/or bloodstream, without a known cause, he or she may have an eosinophil-associated disease.
These conditions are further characterized by the areas of the body in which the eosinophils have accumulated. A few examples include the esophagus (eosinophilic esophagitis), stomach (eosinophilic gastritis), or tissue beneath the skin (eosinophilic fasciitis). Symptoms of eosinophil disease may vary depending on the area of the body affected, and by age.
National Eosinophil Awareness Week was officially recognized by the U.S. Congress in 2007 as the result of APFED-led efforts. It is a special time in which patients, caregivers, health care providers, and organizations increase efforts to raise public awareness about these conditions and what it means to be “eosinophilic.”
“During National Eosinophil Awareness Week, we are advancing awareness of these conditions so that every family affected has access to the care, support, and resources that they need,” said APFED Executive Director Mary Jo Strobel. “This event joins together researchers, health care providers, caregivers, and patients to heighten awareness and address the issues that this community faces.”
Although not commonly life-threatening, these chronic diseases require lifelong treatment and can cause debilitating symptoms. Due to the lack of information or awareness of these diseases, patients may experience delays in diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Most subsets of eosinophil-associated disease do not yet have an FDA-approved pharmaceutical indicated for treatment.
Nutricia, the makers of Neocate®, has partnered with APFED for its celebration of this special week by providing the means for the organization to increase dissemination of educational materials to patients, providers, and the public. Throughout NEAW, APFED will be using several channels to make free resources available and sharing patient perspectives so that people can better understand these conditions and the impact that they have on loved ones.
Visit apfed.org to learn more about eosinophil-associated diseases and to find resources and activities to support National Eosinophil Awareness Week.
About American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED)
The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) is a non-profit organization whose 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. apfed.org