Let's Talk Awards
If you have not heard, there is a group called WEGO Health that has created a recognition process for patient leaders. This is such a wonderful thing. To have so many people out their fighting to bring awareness and support to those in need, they deserve to be acknowledged. Across all forms of health advocacy there is a way to recognize those that put their heart into helping change the way for others to come. For some people this may not be a big deal, but let me just tell you that suffering from a chronic not well understood disease, that the work these people do truly does make a difference. I of course would do this regardless, but it is just unbelievably meaningful that a group of people decided that patient leaders deserve to be acknowledged. You can nominate people for being a patient leader hero, for their work in advocacy with the community, or even on social media. They offer awards for all social media forms and blogging as well.
I have had the great pleasure of being nominated for now 5 different categories, and this means so very much to me. I can't even begin to express the absolute honor and pride I feel just for having nominations. I put my heart and soul into working with and for the AS community. My absolute dream is to turn Giving Spoons into a World Wide known and successful support system for those suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis and other forms of Spondyloarthritis. As some of you know my dream is to offer support emotionally and physically. I won't to build a community of people that are connected and able to be there for Doctor appointments, or surgeries, going to the ER, offering rides to get medications, and even creating a family to celebrate holidays with. I want this because far to often I see others talking about the lack of support they have. No way to get to appointments, nobody to be there when they have a need for care after a surgery. I not only want this, but I want to have the ability to financially cover medications, help pay bills, by needed medical or assistive equipment, food and even clothing and other potential needed items. Id love to offer care packages to those in need. Something I want to be of no cost for those who are struggling. Having the ability to be recognized for the efforts I am putting forth could help me achieve this dream.
How Can You Help
Well, I can't do this alone. I need as much help as I can get. So what can you do for the AS community? You can go online to WEGO Health Awards Nominees and search my profile Summer Canady and endorse me. You can endorse me once for each award nomination so a total of 5 times. You can share this post, my other posts on social media and ask others to help me achieve something great for the AS community. They may not understand Ankylosing Spondylitis but everyone understands supporting a good and worthy cause. So simply just tell friends and family that someone you care about greatly has been impacted by health issues but is trying to do something good with the circumstances and that it would truly mean the world to me and you if they just went online and clicked that endorse button 5 times. It's that simple. They don't have to give money, or do anything else. Just go endorse. Hey if they want to scroll through the nominees they may even discover something else they just think deserves the credit too. Endorsements are kind of like voting and will be open until the end of July.
What Happens After That
Well, the 3 top endorsed nominees from each category automatically move to finalist, then a panel of judges will select 2 more for each category making a total of 5 finalist in each of the 15 categories. The panel will judge and pick the winners. Winners are then invited to Las Vegas to be acknowledged at the ceremony. Opportunities to work with over patient leaders, participate in advocacy and awareness events and be a board member for a year with WEGO Health. all of the opportunities are huge for someone working with a disease that just has so little recognition. This kind of opportunity could open up countless doors and provide incredible resources and connections. Not only could this be the chance I need to help make Giving spoons be the dream I want it to be, but it could also lead me to the connections that help me find all the answers to my health issues as well.
Show Me and the AS Community Some Love
I do this for hopes to find better health outcomes for myself, but in all honesty, I do this because I don't want others to suffer the long times before diagnosis, to be struggling financially, to have inadequate health care, to be so misunderstood, but most importantly in hopes that the medical community gain a better understanding of Ankylosing Spondylitis and the complications that can come from having it or from not having a timely diagnosis and treatment plan. I also want to see improvements in medications because so many of the things available are very damaging to our bodies long term. This is just not acceptable. So please, show the AS community some love by just hitting that endorse button those 5 little times.