In less than a month I'll be taking part in Wishbone Day - a day of international awareness for Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Obviously it's the condition that I was born with, but there are hundreds of reasons beyond myself for why I will be rockin' out in yellow on May 6th. And to explain some of those other reasons let's look at what's been going on this month alone.
- The Military Child. This is a time to thank the heroes of our nation's service members, to recognize the sacrifices that the Military Child makes through their role in the Army. Did you know today there are about 1.7 million kids who have a parent serving in the military? And about 900,000 children have had one or both parents deployed multiple times.
- Parkinson's Awareness. Did you know there are an estimated seven to ten million people worldwide with Parkinson's? And each year there are 60,000 Americans who are diagnosed with this chronic and progressive movement disorder.
- Autism Awareness. 1 in 88 U.S. kids are being diagnosed with autism. Research has also found that children with high functioning autism were more likely to have mothers who were white and more educated; whereas children with low functioning autism were more likely to have non-white mothers who were less educated.
- Siblings Day. Nationally celebrated every year on April 10th, it's a day that marks a bond that often transcends and outlasts any other family relationship.
- This list could go on and become much longer...
The likelihood that there is a member of our: communities, workplaces, schools, religious organizations, and families represented within each of those bullet points listed above is highly likely. This month we take the time to recognize some of those folks; we remember not only that they are important to us & matter in our lives, but recognize the unique paths each person travels on and because those paths at times intersect with our own - how rich our lives become.
The point of dedicating one day or month out of the year for a special cause isn't always to look for a cure. When our Congress person or President signs an official proclamation for an Awareness Day, that piece of paper doesn't translate into more sales in shopping malls. It doesn't mean that those for whom the day is dedicated to should expect freebies or hand-outs. What it does mean is a time to recognize, empower, advocate, educate, comfort, give -- to simply come together and acknowledge our shared experiences, and in doing so make that be the difference for someone else. It only has to start with one person.