Itching to Know
by Irene Crosby, Volunteer, Patient Advocate
To my great delight, a new t-shirt came in the mail the other day. Not only is it the bright sunshine yellow I feel drawn to on these gray winter days, but it also represents a new dawning for NEA. The logo on my yellow t will be on our first official t-shirt for our inaugural fund-raising walk, Itching for a Cure, in April 2012. It has been a great pleasure to see how many of us are coming forward to raise awareness for our disease and the organization we formed to combat its rule over our lives.
It's a good time for NEA supporters to be taking a proactive position; the fountains of funding we depended on in the past are down to a thin stream, and we are only one organization among many who depend on these waters of life. Our NEA staff is working miracles with very few hands; we depend on the help you give us to stretch that assistance still further. Most people really want to help others; they only need to be asked. Every person you tell about NEA and its goals increases the chance that someone might want to contribute in some way. Many of our Board members attended one of our patient conferences and saw the good that we do and wanted to be part of it. Our telephone and in-person support group leaders mostly came to us the same way. All of these contributors grew and swelled into a mighty torrent with every new stream and rivulet added to their number—and we hope you will find some way you can be part of this very rewarding effort. We need your dollars but we also need your energy and great ideas to take our organization to worldwide recognition as the most significant effective advocate for people with eczema. We have come this far with your hearts and hands; you should be really proud of the foundation you have given us. Let me correct that: we should all be proud of the foundation we have given OURSELVES.
Our efforts over the past 23 years have led to new breakthroughs in eczema research and treatment; we must continue to make them better and SOONER. For those hardy souls who earn their Itching for a Cure walk t-shirts in April by soliciting sponsorships, I hope they wear the shirts proudly and often long after the walk is over. These shirts give voice to all that we aspire to and to all we have accomplished. Tell people who ask about them why this walk mattered and how they can help.
Start a phone support group in your area or tell your friends on Facebook about us. All these “drops in the bucket” will become an ocean of support and promise for people with eczema. I guarantee it; I've seen it happen for us all these years. I am really glad to have been there for the journey.
Happy New Year—and Better Times to Come!
Irene generously pledged a challenge grant to the Itching for a Cure 5K Walk. She matched the first $250 raised.
Join Irene! Donate to Itching for a Cure today!