Vasculitis Awareness Month pamela pekerman

Vasculitis Awareness Month, How Helping Others Led to My Healing

Hey Mamas,

Before May winds down, I wanted to share why this month is so special for me, and where I’ve been putting a lot of my energy, over the past few weeks.

May is Vasculitis Awareness Month, a month-long campaign design to increase awareness of vasculitis, a group of rare autoimmune diseases that cause inflammation of the blood vessels. Maybe some of you might recall the sad passing of famed, Ghostbusters actor and director Harold Ramis back in 2014 due to vasculitis?

Well, what didn’t make the news, but most certainly broke my heart, was that on December 18, 2009, my father Ilya Peckerman also lost his life to complications associated with vasculitis. My father had just turned 56-years-old.

Vasculitis Awareness Month Ilya Peckerman Fund

My heart broke, my mind went numb, my internal organs wanted to jump out.

But, my spirit new there was something to do.

In 2010, I created the Shop 4 Vasculitis campaign, gathering fashion and lifestyle brands to donate a percentage of sale during the holiday shopping season to the Vasculitis Foundation, specifically the Ilya Pekerman Fund.

This past October, I joined the board of directors for the Vasculitis Foundation, with a mission to get the media talking about this often-neglected autoimmune disease.

Vasculitis Awareness Month May 2017

FAST FACTS for VASCULITIS AWARENESS MONTH 

  • Someone gets diagnosed with vasculitis every 5-minutes
  • Nearly 24 million American’s suffer with autoimmune diseases, according to the National Institutes of Health. In comparison, in 2013, there were 14 million Americans living with cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.  
  • Early detection is key to potentially saving lives; education community and primary care physicals is essential

We need to START TALKING more about vasculitis and all autoimmune diseases.

From the launch of our new Instagram account, to wonderful TV segment on Good Morning Washington, CW33 Dallas and EyeOpener TV, as well as the creation of the Vasculitis Foundation’s shnazzy media kit, I’m so grateful to all my media friends for helping us increase awareness about vasculitis.

There are so many things one can do after a tragic loss, but the greatest way to heal is to help.

The greatest way to HEAL is to HELP!

Losing my father was life changing. It has taken me nearly eight-years to find my new happy formula for life, and I credit my work on behalf of the Vasculitis Foundation with my ability to find new passion and purpose.

Chatting with patients, care givers, working to get their stories heard so that maybe, MAYBE one more life is saved because one more patient starts to ask the right questions and get to the right doctor and get the right treatment … that’s living with purpose. That for me is healing.

Vasculitis Foundation 30th anniversary

WAYS TO SUPPORT during VASCULITIS AWARENESS MONTH

Victory Over Vasculitis Vasculitis Awareness Month tshirt

Helping really does heal. And, as mothers, it’s a wonderful learning moment to show children that it’s good to do good, it’s good to give of yourself, it’s good to move past your own grief for the greater benefit of all.

I’d love to hear how you do good. Have you turned personal struggles into greater success? How are you teaching your kids to be selfless? Share your mama wisdom below.

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