March is awareness month for both multiple sclerosis and hemophilia, so I’m doing my part to promote awareness of these chronic, incurable conditions that affect the quality of life of so many people – and I'm challenging you to do the same.
What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system attacks their nerve cells, interfering with the nervous system’s ability to transmit information. Symptoms can include blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, altered sensations, blindness and more.
Although there is no cure for MS, people living with the disease can expect to have a near-average lifespan, and symptoms, as well as the progression of the disease, can often be modified with medication.
What is hemophilia?
People with hemophilia lack the ability to make proteins needed for blood clotting. This results in an impaired ability to heal after a cut, leading to prolonged bleeding. When bleeds occur internally, such as in joints or in the brain, this can lead to permanent disability or even death.
People living with hemophilia may have to consult their physician before participating in high-impact of full-contact sports, and they need to take proper action when injuries – especially intracranial bleeds – occur.
Treatment for hemophilia has made great strides in the past two decades, and it can be managed with either a regular, preventative dose of clotting factor or with doses that are taken on-demand when bleeds occur.
With proper treatment, hemophiliacs can lead a normal, healthy life. But, according to hemophilia.org, approximately 75% of people worldwide receive inadequate treatment for the disease.
New tools for disease management
I’m proud to be part of a company that’s developing innovative technology designed to help people affected by chronic diseases like MS and hemophilia. Alme Health Coach helps people manage these complex and often unpredictable diseases by assisting with complicated medication regimens, answering disease related questions and improving doctor/patient communication.
But there’s more to be done.
How you can help
I’m spreading the word about these chronic diseases because solutions are more likely to be found when more people are lending their support. I invite you to be a part of a growing number of people helping those living with these diseases attain a better quality of life and who want to ensure that the next generation won’t have to face the challenges presented by these conditions.
The organizations listed below are dedicated to awareness, management and eradication of these diseases and to the support of those directly and indirectly affected by them. They feature a myriad of ways to get involved in your own community, they’re great place to donate to the cause, and their websites feature social-media sharing buttons that make getting the word out on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn easy.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is dedicated to creating a world that’s free of MS and, in the meantime, they’re hard at work mobilizing people and resources to find a cure and address the challenges of those living with MS.
The Hemophilia Federation of America works on behalf of those with bleeding disorders – advocating for safe, affordable products for their treatment, working to remove barriers to choice of treatment and quality of life, and fostering community support and awareness.
Getting involved in the fight against these diseases is easy – and the benefits are HUGE for those managing these diseases and for generations to come.
Join me in the fight!