"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Friday, November 18, 2005

PF Awareness Stamp

I won't do this very often, but today I'd like to ask readers of this blog to do me a favor. It will take a few minutes of your time and cost you 37 cents.

Public awareness of my disease, Pulmonary Fibrosis, is very low. Most people have never heard of it, and have no idea how it impacts the daily lives of those who have it. As a result, the search for an effective treatment - or perhaps even a cure - suffers, as PF research receives far fewer donations than other more well-known illnesses.

To help combat this lack of recognition, the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation is proposing that the US Postal Service issue a commemorative stamp to help raise the profile of PF among the general public. Such a stamp would join others that have boosted awareness of cancer, diabetes, organ donation and hospice care, such as the breast cancer stamp shown on the right. The USPS Stamp Advisory Committee receives tens of thousands of requests for stamps each year, and only considers "events and themes of widespread national appeal and significance." To demonstrate this widespread appeal, the PFF is asking it's members, friends, and anyone else who is interested to write to the Committee and urge them to issue the stamp. A postage stamp is a little thing, but everyone uses and sees it. It may lead someone to wonder if their shortness of breath could be Pulmonary Fibrosis, and get them to a doctor for a check-up. Very early detection and treatment of the disease can vastly improve chances of a better life with it.

I would like to also join in the grass-roots effort by promoting this idea on my blog, and by asking you to participate. Below is the text of a letter which you can either customize to your liking or use as-is. Simply cut and paste it into your word processor, print it, sign it and mail to the address indicated. For more information, click here.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

###


Date



Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20260

Dear Members of the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee:

I am writing on behalf of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation to ask you to consider issuing a postage stamp to raise awareness of this terrible disease, Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Pulmonary Fibrosis is not as well known to most people as many other diseases, but those who have been impacted by it call it a “merciless killer.” The disease affects 200,000 Americans, of which 40,000 die each year. This is roughly the same number that die from breast cancer. It is an incurable lung disease in which the air sacs of the lungs are gradually replaced by scar tissue. As the disease progresses, the increase in scar tissue interferes with the ability of the lungs to transfer oxygen to the blood stream. Breathing becomes increasingly difficult, and most patients lose their fight with this disease in two to five years.

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation was established in 2000 to help confront the many problems faced by those diagnosed with the disease. Its mission is:

1) To increase awareness of pulmonary fibrosis in both the medical community and the general public. This is important since early diagnosis and treatment may halt the disease's progression and increase the longevity of the patient. To add to the problem, the condition is often misdiagnosed as asthma, emphysema or one of the many forms of pneumonia.

2) To increase funding for research that will find a cure for pulmonary fibrosis. To date, the medical community has not been able to determine what causes it or how to cure this disease.

3) To provide support, hope and inspiration to the community of Pulmonary Fibrosis patients.

A U.S. postage stamp would be a major catalyst for raising awareness and stimulating dialogue at a national level. I hope that you will find one for Pulmonary Fibrosis compelling and important. Thank you for your consideration.



Sincerely,


______________________

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3 Comments:

  • At 11/17/2005 11:17:00 PM, Blogger April said…

    It is being printed as we speak! Anything to help out!

    My mom has MS, and is a member of the MS Society, Who also tries to make people more aware of the disease and help people suffering from it. I think it is really cool that you have taken a positive action instead of sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself like many who have illnesses like you and my mom do.

    Good luck!

     
  • At 11/18/2005 06:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Done!

     
  • At 11/21/2005 03:39:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Toast said…

    Thanks guys, you rock!!

     

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