7 Great Psoriasis Events, Fundraisers, and Summer Camps

by Alisha Bridges Patient Advocate

Are you looking for ways to become more involved in the psoriasis community and to meet more people like you? Check out these seven events designed with psoriasis in mind!

Team NPF

When: Varies

Where: Various locations

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is the number one organization in the United States for the psoriatic community. Since 2007, the NPF has raised over 10 million dollars for research, advocacy, and resources for patients, as well as medical support. The team NPF events are designed to help raise money for the foundation to help with various initiatives for those living with the disease.

The main events given by the NPF are walks, runs, cycling events, and bingo, which take place across in the U.S., including in Illinois, Texas, North Caroline, California, Georgia, New York, Florida, Washington D.C., and Oregon. If you don’t see your state listed, no worries! The NPF has the “DIY” initiative in which they provide a guideline to help individuals plan their own events.

International Dermatology of Outcome Measures Meeting

When: May 5-6

Where: Washington D.C.

I’ve been a part of this group since 2014. It’s composed of about 10 patients, and 50 doctors and researchers. The group is looking to create a global survey, which can then be used in clinical trials concerning skin diseases. Patient involvement in this event is imperative. Our jobs as patients is to give the medical professionals in the group an idea of what it’s like to live with this disease and to also express what’s important to us. If you want to be involved with psoriasis advocacy from a more clinical and scientific standpoint, this is the group — and event — for you.

More Than Skin Deep and Be Joint Smart

When: Varies

Where: Various locations

According to the NPF, 30 percent of those living with psoriasis will also acquire arthritis. These workshops are designed to address the unique issues of those living with psoriatic disease. During these events, leading doctors in dermatology and rheumatology give talks about various challenges surrounding psoriasis. Attendees receive expert advice on how to manage PSA and can ask doctors questions. These events usually occur on the weekend and last about two hours. If there isn’t an event in your area, the NPF provides a webcast for those to attend online.

The National Psoriasis Foundation Volunteer Conference When: August 4-5, 2017

Where: Chicago

This is by far one of my favorite psoriasis events, and it takes place every other year. I went to my first conference in 2011. This conference brings together those with psoriasis, caretakers, families, and leading dermatologists. There are a variety of workshops for participates to attend. Registration for the event starts on April 1, 2017. The foundation also has scholarship opportunities for those who may not be able to afford the conference but want to attend. This event inspired me to start my blog “Being Me in My Own Skin” and was my stepping stone to psoriasis advocacy.

Camp Discover

When: June-August

Where: Various locations

This camp, sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology, is designed for kids ages 7-16 with a variety of skin diseases, including psoriasis. It’s a one-week camp that takes place in six different cities across the U.S. on a different week throughout the summer. During this time, kids are able to enjoy summer activities such as horseback riding, swimming, archery, and much more in a safe and judgement-free environment. I was a camp counselor at Camp Dermadillo in Texas in the month of August.

I was a camp counselor in August 2016, and I found it to be an awesome experience that I wish I knew about at that age. It was wonderful to see the kids interacting without having to worry about someone teasing them for their skin condition. I had the chance to speak to a junior counselor with eczema who was once a camper. (After the age of 16 former campers can come back as counselors.) He told me when he was in his early teens he lack confidence before attending the camp. Once he visited the Camp Discovery, he advised he was never the same again, and was able to let go of the shame he felt with his disease.

Camp Wonder

When: June 19-24, 2017

Where: This camp is sponsored by The Children’s Skin Disease Foundation and is also designed for children with skin diseases. It takes place every June for one week. The location for 2017 is still pending, but be sure to take a look at the site for updates.

Alisha Bridges
Meet Our Writer
Alisha Bridges

Alisha Bridges has dealt with psoriasis since 7 years old after a bad case of chicken pox triggered her disease to spread on over 90% of her body. For years she hid in shame afraid of what people would think of such a visible disease. She has suffered from depression, anxiety, and panic attacks due to psoriasis. Years ago Alisha wrote a letter entitled “My Suicide Letter.” The letter was not about actually killing herself but killing parts of her like low self-esteem, fear, and shame so she could truly live to her fullest potential. This proclamation catapulted her into psoriasis and patient advocacy. Following this letter she created a blog entitled Being Me In My Own Skin where she gives intimate details of what it’s like to live with psoriasis. Alisha is a community ambassador for the National Psoriasis Foundation and has served her community in countless ways to help give a better understanding of what’s it’s like to live with psoriasis. Her life motto is the following: “My purpose is to change the hearts of people by creating empathy and compassion for those the least understood through transparency of self, patient advocacy, and dermatology.” Alisha is also a Social Ambassador for the HealthCentral Skin Health Facebook page.