Patients Unite Each September for IC Awareness Month
The ICN is proud to administer the annual IC Awareness Month campaign. Held in September annually, patients unite from around the world to raise awareness about bladder and pelvic pain conditions in their community. The campaign provides a full complement of materials available, at no cost, to patients who want to participate.
IC Awareness activities began in the early 1990’s when the ICA of California selected a day in November for IC outreach. This transitioned, a few years later, to a day in October. In the early 2000’s, Ortho Urology (makers of Elmiron) expanded the effort to an IC Awareness Week that featured a variety of podcasts, blogs and educational materials.
In 2008, after Ortho-Urology pulled out of sponsoring IC Awareness activities, the IC Network stepped forward to take over the campaign, running it for two years as an awareness week and then as an awareness month campaign. Due to the overwhelming market saturation of breast cancer awareness activities in October, IC Awareness Month was relocated to September after a patient vote.
IC Awareness Month is modeled after National Women’s Health Awareness Week, an innovative and durable health education administrated by the US government. Rather than focus on national activities, NWHA and ICAM focus on the encouragement of local and regional activities. Our goal is to empower patients so that they can take action in their own communities through a variety of resources such as press releases, posters, proclamations and social networking. Current campaign materials can be found on the IC Awareness Month website.
2014 Theme – “For Years We Suffered In Silence, Now We Stand Together”
2013 Theme – “Millions Suffer, Few Understand”
2012 Theme – “We Stand Together”
2011 Theme – “Breaking The silence of Interstitial Cystitis”
2010 Theme – “Patients Unite To Make A Difference”
While some official “lists” suggest that the color for IC is dark blue, the official color chosen by patients in a national survey is TURQUOISE / TEAL. We think that patients should wear the color they most closely identify with.
The official of IC awareness is the sunflower or daisy, often superimposed on a teeshirts, station and the link. The sunflower was first attached to the IC movement during a special awareness campaign offered by Prelief. They passed out lovely lapel pins at the time. Since then, patients have adapted either flower to their own designs. We say Bravo!
Due to the dearth of available funding, much of IC Awareness Month is driven through social networking campaigns, particularly Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Special images are created each year and patients also participate in the form of poster, timeline and YouTube contests!