(From Jill Osborne MA) September is the most important month for the IC movement. This is the time that we gather together, share our stories, educate our communities, seek out patients who are suffering in silence and work, as a group, to raise awareness about IC/BPS. Each and every day, IC patients struggle to find care. They are told that IC is all in their heads. They plea for pain relief. They struggle to find support and the encouragement that they not only need but deserve. IC Awareness Month is our time to speak our truth, to advocate, to empower and to embrace each other with kindness, respect and hope.
This year, we honor the IC Support Community and those patients who have started support groups that give comfort to so many in need. Indeed, it is one of the most selfless things that an IC patient can do… to step away from our own struggles to help another who is struggling. Whether that group is on-line or in person, they demonstrate the best of the IC patient community. We are so much stronger when we work together, right? You will find an exhaustive list of IC support groups on the IC Awareness Month webpage and if you have a group that isn’t listed, please let us know! And if there is no group near you, we hope that you will consider starting a new group! We’ll show you how on our website!
I must ask, “If not you, then who?” There is no big pharmaceutical company sponsoring IC outreach. They walked away years ago. We are on our own. This grassroots campaign is built around you, the individual IC patient, taking just a few moments this month to do at least one thing that can help! Please join me!
From sending out our press release to sharing our daily facts through your social networking channels, we are asking volunteers to spend some time every day to help us reach patients who are suffering in silence. Winners of our poster and meme contests will earn $100, $50 and $25 gift cards! So if you’re struggling with a flare, take a few moments and just play! Make a poster and share how IC has changed your life.
#1 – Share Your IC Story
We are collecting stories of patients who have been denied pain care or removed from their pain care so that we can demonstrate just how IC patients are being effected. We will NOT use your names. Please tell us how you are being treated as you seek treatment for your IC and/or pain. Share YOUR IC story here!
#2 – Nominate Your MD, Nurse or PT
Every year, we honor those physicians, nurses and physical therapists who treat IC patients with compassion, respect and knowledge. When they are kind and compassionate, it can make a profound difference in the life of an IC patient who, at that moment, might be frightened and/or in pain. We also use this information to update our physician database so that we can share the best medical care providers with patients looking for care! Place your nominations here!
#3 – Share Our Daily Facts!
We’ve assembled a fabulous collection of daily facts on IC that will help educate others about our condition. Please share these across your social networking channels! View The Daily IC Facts
#4 – Print Out a Poster & Share It With Your Doctors
The official poster for 2019 You can print out this and other posters and share it at your doctors office, clinics, community bulletin boards & more! Download IC Awareness Posters Here!
#5 – Add our Awareness Banners!
Help us spread the word about IC! We have a variety of images that you can share! Add IC Awareness Month To Your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
#6 – Share Our Fact Sheets
A lot has changed with IC in the past five years and the odds are that your doctor hasn’t taken a class in years. Does he or she know about the new subtyping systems? You can download our beautiful full color fact sheets! Please share them with family members, friends, doctors and anyone who has an interest in your medical condition. Download the IC Fact Sheets
#7 – Send Our Press Release To Your Local Paper
There are thousands of patients who are suffering in silence, right now, throughout the world. They don’t have a name for their medical condition. They think that pain and urinary symptoms are normal as you get older. Some have sustained muscle injuries which can be healed with pelvic floor physical therapy. Please help us reach those patients in need by sending out press release to your local paper and blogs! We couldn’t have made it more easy. You can just print it out and send it but it’s better if you also tell them a little about your IC and pain too! They want to tell the stories of local patients! View Our Press Release To Your Local Paper
#8 – Participate in our Poster Contest
This is our favorite patient contest each year and the winners are used in future IC Awareness Month campaigns. Even better, the prizes are awesome with winners receiving $100, $50 and $25 gift cards. We welcome all types of art… pencil, crayon, oils, watercolor from you, your children or even your pets! Remember, art is wonderfully therapeutic so if you have an hour to spare, please have some fun and play! How does IC influence your life? How are you feeling? Are you a fighter? Just go for it! Participate in Our Poster Contest
#9 – Participate in our Meme Contest
Memes are a great way to spread the word about IC and get a little frustration out at the same time. They can be funny, angry, snarky, poignant. Each one tells a quick story about life with IC! Memes are the best way to share IC across your social networking channels and they are incredibly easy to make. Winners will receive a Kindle, iPAD or cash prizes. Learn How To Make A Meme!
#10 – IC Awareness Shirts, Cups & More