Elin Aslanyan is determined to make spondylitis a household name, even if it means teaching people one at a time how to pronounce it. She started by educating us on the disease last week after we spotted her action on Causes.com to raise funds for her organization, the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA), and its mission to spread the word on the disease.
Spondylitis is arthritis of the spine and it affects over 2.7 million adults in the U.S. Although more Americans suffer from the disease than people affected by multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, and Lou Gherig’s disease combined, spondylitis is relatively unknown to the general public. “It’s primarily a young person’s disease that is hard to diagnose, and there is no cure,” Elin said. She’s making it her mission, along with the support of her organization, to change all of that.
Elin and her organization came across Causes.com after users on our website made donations to the organization. Soon, she was psyched to try Causes for herself and told us, “It is the perfect platform to access a social network outside of your primary community.”
Elin created a fundraising action to raise $1,000 for the creation and distribution of 500 copies of Spondylitis Plus, a magazine with all the goodies you need to bulk up on spondylitis facts. This will lead to better care and better quality of life for those suffering from the illness. Usually, medical professionals and the general public don’t have spondylitis on their radar; that leads to unanswered questions, missed diagnoses, and doctors with little information to provide patients.
One critical problem for spondylitis advocates is the abundance of misinformation. Drinking prune juice lately? It’s probably not going to make you better. The only way to alleviate the gap between real information and the fake stuff is to educate everyone. “We really want people to see the brochure, read it, and then remember the disease. Or maybe we can get patients who are diagnosed to take the brochure to their local medical facility to help educate other patients.”
A major social media campaign involving tweeting and Facebook updates targeted at the spondylitis community translated into over $1,000 raised in just over two weeks. Without hesitation, Elin cranked her goal up to $2,000. On April 25, Elin updated the spondylitis community with great news: the SAA give campaign surpassed the $2,000 goal! The donations mean 1,000 doctor’s offices across the country will receive spondylitis information. Elin’s pursuit to make you and me aware of spinal arthritis is on track!
Elin is eager to create additional actions on the Causes’ platform, like asking people to pledge to spread facts about spondylitis and maybe polling new members about what age group is the most afflicted. Whatever the case, every one of Elin’s actions will have one invaluable goal at its core: educate everyone about spondylitis. We wish her success!
Visit Elin’s cause page and learn more about spondylitis and what you can do to provide a helping hand.