Friday, January 24, 2014

26 Days of Kawasaki Disease Awareness: Day 24

To commemorate the 4th annual National Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day on January 26, 2014, I will be posting 26 ideas on how you can spread KD awareness in your own community and beyond - one idea per day until the 26th.  

Here are the past days:
Day 6: Contact news outlets about running a KD story.
Day 7: Decorate your home and car windows with KD awareness.
Day 8: Participate in a KD Clinical Study
Day 9: Share Kawasaki Disease themed infographics and memes.
Day 10: Organize a 5K run for Kawasaki Disease.
Day 11: Get your community involved in KD awareness.
Day 12: Hand out heart lollipops with KD information.
Day 13: Start or join a Kawasaki Disease support group.
Day 14: Buy, make, and wear KD awareness.
Day 15: Organize a charity golf or mini-golf tournament for KD.
Day 16: Organize a local blood drive for KD and donate blood.
Day 17: Get your child's school involved.
Day 18: Make a KD inspired float for a local parade.
Day 19: Organize a charity sporting event for KD.

Now let's get to today's idea:

Day 24: Help a Kawasaki Disease Survivor with their very own awareness campaign or fundraiser.

A whopping 75% of Kawasaki Disease cases occur in children under 5 years of age.  Many of these children will (thankfully) never remember what it's like to go through KD.  But that can also have some side effects of its own, especially if the child is left with heart disease.*  I can't begin to imagine how it must feel to know that you have a disease but not know why.  Educating these kids about KD and helping them become a part of the KD awareness movement will give them a sense of purpose - a sense of control over a disease they once had no control over.  

There are many activities children can plan, mostly on their own, that can raise awareness for Kawasaki Disease.  Here is one idea from a KD family - this little cutie donated her "chores for charity" money to Sarah Chalke's KD fundraiser on Crowdrise.  Besides donating their allowance to KD research, here are a few other ideas children can do:

  1. Lemonade stand
  2. Car wash
  3. Dog walking
  4. Address number curb painting
  5. KD Lollipop giveaway or fundraiser
  6. School presentation or project
  7. Penny war
  8. Magic show
  9. Sell homemade craft/jewelry
  10. Make and give away KD friendship bracelets

Has your child gotten involved in the KD awareness movement? Tell us all about it! And come back tomorrow for day 25 of 26 days of Kawasaki Disease Awareness!

*Sidenote: I will soon be posting many more KD facts, but this one has special meaning for today's post so I wanted to share.  A new study just out is reporting that when the initial outcome of KD is good (no persistent aneurysms), rates of cardiovascular events were no higher than in the control group.  Doctors, of course, want more follow-up studies done to verify these results, but this is VERY good news for lots of little hearts out there! It also illustrates the absolute importance of a prompt diagnosis (within 10 days of fever onset) and the immediate need for a diagnostic test.  

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