10 Easy Ways to Raise Awareness for GBS|CIDP & make a BIG Difference!

This May, GBS|CIDP Awareness Month, the Foundation will be fighting the good fight and enlisting patients and their caregivers to support our advocacy efforts throughout the month and beyond. But, perhaps advocacy is not the right fit for you, or you are unable to participate in our advocacy initiatives this year – not to worry, there are plenty of other ways to raise awareness! The most important thing to remember is that most successful awareness raising activities begin with commitment, passion and enthusiasm – the critical “keys to success” of any awareness raising activity. Here are 10 ideas below to get the creative juices flowing…  

  1. Join the Conversation on Social Media – There is plenty of content to go around! We’ll be sharing “awareness month” information on our social channels all month long. We encourage you to like, share, comment and join the conversation! By simply participating in our social campaign, you will be raising awareness right from your computer or mobile phone. Also there is plenty of great “FAQ” content to share on the gbs-cidp.org website. Sharing answers to questions like, What is CIDP? or, What treatments are available for GBS?, can be great conversation starters. https://www.gbs-cidp.org/support/resources/faqs/
  2. Distribute Brochures or Inserts – Where are people most naturally triggered to think about GBS|CIDP or variants? Hospitals, doctor’s offices, rehabilitation centers to name a few. Put brochures, inserts, or other “leave behind” materials in those places. There are many downloadable pamphlets available on the GBS|CIDP Foundation website: https://www.gbs-cidp.org/support/foundation-publications/
  3. Connect with Patients & Caregivers in Your Region – Are you a GBS|CIDP patient or caregiver? Reach out to your local GBS|CIDP Foundation liaison and ask how you can help raise awareness in your area. Chances are great that there are many awareness raising activities already in the works!  Contact Kelly McCoy to find the Regional Director in your area, (kmccoy@gbs-cidp.org). For those outside the US, contact the Foundations Director of International Programs, Patricia Blomkwist-Markens at patricia.blomkwist@gbs-cidp.org. If you are a GBS|CIDP Regional Director, reach out to members in your region, inform them of awareness month and guide them to ways to get involved!
  4. Contact Your Local Media – Reach out to local media to tell your story. Let them know that you live in their region, you have a very rare condition, and for May, Awareness Month, you would like to share your story and raise awareness. Stay tuned for “Connecting with Local Media”, tips by GBS|CIDP volunteer, Robert Vasquez, to be published during GBS|CIDP Awareness Month.
  5. GBS|CIDP in the Classroom – Is your child coping with GBS or CIDP? Teach a class at your child’s school. Many teachers encourage parents to explain the condition to classmates and other teachers as well.
  6. Host a “Lunch & Learn” Educational Event at Your Office – Invite people to attend an event where they can learn something about GBS|CIDP and variants of the condition, while also learning about some of the issues you and/or your family are coping with. There are plenty of educational videos and articles to share at gbs-cidp.org.
  7. Host a Social Event in Your Home – Make the reason to get together fun and social – wine tasting, game night or basket bingo – and then tack on some information about GBS|CIDP and variants of the condition.
  8. Hold an “Awareness Month” Support Meeting – Bring together people who have common needs in the GBS|CIDP and variant community and facilitate their sharing and networking, so they know they are not alone. Contact Kelly McCoy at the GBS|CIDP office for guidance on preparing a support meeting. (Kelly.mccoy@gbs-cidp.org) For those outside the US, contact the Foundations Director of International Programs, Patricia Blomkwist-Markens at patricia.blomkwist@gbs-cidp.org.
  9. Attend a Walk & Roll or Chapter Meeting near you, that is already planned on the calendar and show your support of the GBS|CIDP Community.  (We have not yet expanded our Walk & Roll Program Internationally).
  10. Create a Walk & Roll Team – There is power in numbers! So invite your friends and family to an upcoming Walk & Roll! Create a team, including a logo and t-shirt, and gather for fun and festive one mile walk. Check out the calendar, or contact Walk & Roll Program Manager, Jessica McManus (Jessica.mcmanus@gbs-cidp.org). Not seeing one near you in May? No worries, commit to attend one later in the year, and start forming your team now in honor of GBS|CIDP Awareness Month.