Eosinophil-associated diseases community bands together for awareness and action
(Atlanta, GA)— During National Eosinophil Awareness Week, May 19-25, the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) will shine a brighter spotlight on eosinophil-associated diseases and celebrate the brave and resilient men, women, and children who live day-to-day with the impact of these medical conditions.
Eosinophils (pronounced “ee-oh-sin-oh-fills”) are a type of white blood cell that helps our immune systems fight off infections and parasites. They also play a role in allergic reactions and inflammatory processes.
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.
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 the bladder (eosinophilic cystitis).
Symptoms of eosinophil disease may vary depending on the area of the body affected, and by age. Patients often embark on a long, frustrating journey seeing many different specialists before a diagnosis is made. Although not commonly life-threatening, these chronic diseases require lifelong treatment and can cause debilitating symptoms. Most subsets of eosinophil-associated disease do not yet have an FDA-approved pharmaceutical indicated for treatment.
Officially recognized by the U.S. Congress in 2007 as the result of APFED-led efforts, National Eosinophil Awareness Week 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, our community of patients and providers ramp up efforts to disseminate information so that the public is more aware of these conditions,” said APFED Executive Director Mary Jo Strobel. “Sharing our stories showcases the strength and resilience of our community members and offers hope to families who are affected, and by sharing educational information about these conditions and how they might manifest, it may encourage the undiagnosed struggling with symptoms to push for answers.”
APFED will be celebrating the “Eos” community during this special week by offering free digital educational resources and awareness imagery for social media, Facebook giveaways, and special engagement opportunities through their platforms. The organization will also be disseminating information to health care providers in effort to advance awareness and knowledge about these conditions and arm the medical community with materials to better educate their patients about eosinophil-associated diseases.
Nutricia, the makers of Neocate®, has partnered with APFED once again this year in celebration of National Eosinophil Awareness Week, and has provided the organization with the means to expand outreach to the patient and provider communities.
“At Nutricia, we are proud to partner with APFED to raise awareness to help support and educate the community about eosinophil-associated diseases,” said Nutricia’s Senior Brand Manager Sonal Patel.
Visit apfed.org to learn more about eosinophil-associated diseases and National Eosinophil Awareness Week, and to access a calendar of special events that will be taking place during Awareness Week.
About American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED)
The 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 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