I love this quote by showstopping comedian and actor Lily Tomlin, because people complain about a lot of things. We complain about why there isn’t more to do in our town, why there isn’t a stop sign on that dangerous street, or even just why the toilet paper isn’t in the holder! While we are in the habit of noticing all of the problems around us, we often forget we can be the solution!
Something us chraintims* are always complaining about is that the general public is grossly unaware of invisible illnesses. Because we don’t “look sick”, people don’t realize our limitations, and research to cure our currently incurable illnesses (try saying that five times fast) go unfunded! I mean, who is going to donate to research for a disease they’ve never heard of?
Now some of us do try to help fix this problem with our blogs and social media accounts. But each of us trying to raise awareness for our diseases separately is a whole lot harder than doing it together. Luckily, one fellow spoonie named Barbara Ramm decided to create a way for all of us with autoimmune diseases to raise awareness together. Barbara, and her daughter Haley (who plays Brenna on the hit ABC Family TV show Chasing Life), have started the hashtag #FightforImmunity as well as the Pillow Fight Challenge. This is similar to the ice bucket challenge, except it is a pillow fight! (This is the perfect representative challenge since most of us with autoimmune diseases spend most of our time in bed.) To do this challenge, all you have to do is film you and some friends having a pillow fight, post it on social media with the hashtag #FightforImmunity, and then challenge other friends to do the same! Check out the cast of Chasing Life doing the challenge here.
This is brilliant because it not only creates a way for the spoonie community to raise awareness as a group, but it also involves the general population as well! Any of our friends could do this challenge as something fun to do, and as they challenge someone else, not only does the challenge spread, but so does the awareness. I highly encourage all of you to not only do this challenge, but also share this photo first, just as I have on my Instagram (link on the right).
We all say we want people to understand, we say we want awareness for our diseases, and I know we have all wished for a cure. Eventually we have to realize to make a real difference, we have to be that somebody Tomlin talked about. I know I want awareness and a cure for my Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, so I’ll be doing the Pillow Fight Challenge this week.
How badly do you want a cure?
If you do the challenge, please let me know in the comments below! Be sure to include a link so I can check it out!
*Chraintim is a word I made up that abbreviates the phrase “chronic pain victim”, which I got tired of typing repeatedly. Plus, the word is kind of cool. You should try using it too! #chraintim