You are all brilliant!
We asked you to enter your ideas about raising awareness of RA for our Amazing Awareness Contest in May. And we were overwhelmed by your creativity and passion. Thanks to you, our community will now have a blueprint for change to consult when looking for suggestions of what they can do to change the way others see our disease. More on those suggestions in a moment. First, I need to announce the winners of the contest.
First place winner, $275 Visa gift card: Rain Dancer. Her idea is to “create a set of informational ‘FAQ’ pictures [about RA] (each with text description and website link for more information) … the images and info can be shared freely by everyone, across all mediums so that more and more people across the internet learn a little more about rheumatoid arthritis every day."
Second place winner, $150 Visa gift card: StacyR. She plans to educate the people she meets in her everyday life by giving information about RA and sharing her experience of the disease. "If I can put a face to RA and educate the people around me, that awareness will spread."
Third-place winner, $75 Visa gift card: Angie. She is "using conversation as a marketing technique. It gets people to open up about their stories and raises their curiosity." And she wants to speak to anyone who'll listen, including her colleagues in the healthcare field and our elected representatives.
Congratulations to this year’s winners! You will be contacted by Allison Tsai, the producer of HealthCertral’s RA site, with details on how to claim your prize.
But There’s More…
We asked you to leave a comment answering this question:
How will you take action to build bridges and increase awareness of RA?
We asked you for big ideas and small ideas. Ideas that would be easy to do for people who don't have a lot of energy, as well as ideas for those who are able to do more. This would ensure that there was a range of suggestions so that everyone who wanted to get involved, could do so. And you left comment after comment with just that: great ideas. Clever, creative ideas by passionate people. In fact, many of you got so passionate that you forgot about the 200 word limit! Unfortunately, this meant that some entries did not qualify for inclusion in the contest. However, the ideas were still terrific and are included in the list below.
Your Blueprint for Awareness
Several of you posted reminders that you can’t educate others unless you yourself know the information you're sharing. GJordan said “RA awareness must start by first educating yourself about your disease.”
Once you have your facts straight, start with the people in your immediate circle. Lgl_Asst suggests asking questions to "find out if they have a friend or loved one that suffers from another type of auto-immune disease like MS, lupus, type I diabetes." This means the person to whom you're speaking already has some information out of these types of diseases. Cheryl uses "the spoon theory to explain to family and friends how I feel and what I'm going through."