This Year’s Vasculitis Awareness Month – #VAM2022 – Honors ‘Heroes’

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by Mary Chapman |

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Vasculitis Awareness Month | ANCA Vasculitis News | awareness illustration with megaphone and ribbons

From honoring healthcare professionals and scientists to spotlighting “patient heroes,” activities are underway for this year’s Vasculitis Awareness Month, dubbed #VAM2022. VAM is observed each May to bring attention to the rare autoimmune disorder and all its forms, as well as the people it affects.

International Vasculitis Day is also being held on May 15.

That annual event aims to heighten disease awareness not only among the general public, but also among public authorities, policymakers, researchers, and healthcare professionals worldwide.

For 2022, many of the events throughout the month are online.

“This month’s Vasculitis Awareness Month activities are tailored to the time we are living in — with social distancing in mind,” the Vasculitis Foundation states on an event webpage. “Please join us in raising awareness of vasculitis and the need for more research for better treatments and a cure.”

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Vasculitis Awareness Month | ANCA Vasculitis News | awareness illustration with megaphone and ribbons

This Year’s Vasculitis Awareness Month – #VAM2022 – Honors ‘Heroes’

The foundation has a host of ways supporters can get involved in #VAM2022, which spotlights patients, healthcare professionals, and scientists. The event this year is themed “Navigating the Unknown: You are Not Alone.”

Among the offerings this year is a YouTube video in which the mother of a daughter with vasculitis offers her perspective about the disease journey.

As part of its Patient Heroes project, which highlights “ordinary people” who exhibit extraordinary determination and positivity in their battle against vasculitis, the foundation is offering several videos of patients who share their attitudes and outlook on life.

“When faced with a diagnosis, the road ahead may look scary. But that’s when our patients with vasculitis tap into their superpowers of strength, hope, and resilience,” the foundation states.

Supporters also are encouraged to swap their existing social media artwork with new VAM graphics, available on the website, that were created especially for the vasculitis community.

The organization also is calling attention to the newly named ambassadors for its Victory Over Vasculitis program, which embraces a holistic approach to patient wellness. Ambassadors are helping to develop and champion the program, which includes components like physical wellness and movement, and mental health and mindfulness.

In addition, patients are invited to take some time this month to learn about and join the organization’s Vasculitis Patient-Powered Research Network (VPPRN) by viewing a webinar about the registry.

On May 7, the foundation is encouraging supporters to participate in National Nurses Month, and on May 9, it is asking patients and caregivers, and other advocates, to watch a webinar about current treatments, including Tavneos (avacopan).

Further, the organization this month is inviting patients join a virtual vasculitis support group, look into the practice of “mindfulness” to help cope with their disease, and register for the 2022 International Vasculitis Symposium, to be held July 15–17 in Chicago.

Patients also may mark the month by learning about the foundation’s Vasculitis-Building Outcomes, Leading Discoveries (V-BOLD) program, an initiative that focuses on fellowships, vasculitis centers, and research.

Then there’s World Eosinophilic Diseases Day, which the Vasculitis Foundation wants supporters to observe on May 18. The following day, the vasculitis community is encouraged to take a poll regarding COVID-19 and vaccine boosters.

On May 20, supporters are asked to mark Behcet’s Awareness Day & World Arthritis Day. Behcet’s is a complex form of vasculitis that can be particularly difficult to diagnose.

In addition, the organization is offering a series of videos about staying motivated, especially during the pandemic, and about dedicated vasculitis centers. To help improve knowledge of vasculitis treatment, the foundation is offering guidelines patients can share with their physicians.

What’s more, patients are asked to take time this month to learn about the VF Health Tracker, which can help them organize and keep track of medication schedules and treatments.

The organization also will be announcing the winners of its 2022 Recognizing Excellence in Diagnostics (V-RED) award program, an awareness initiative that recognizes medical providers globally for making critical early vasculitis diagnoses.

For International Vasculitis Awareness Day, the foundation is highlighting patient advocacy groups around the world who seek to help improve the lives of patients.