MGFA Promoting Ways to Recognize June, MG Awareness Month

MGFA Promoting Ways to Recognize June, MG Awareness Month
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From lighting up buildings to issuing local proclamations, efforts are underway to mark Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month, observed each June for 20 years now.

Coordinated annually by the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA), the campaign is aimed at heightening public awareness of myasthenia gravis (MG), a neuromuscular disorder that affects about 20 of every 100,000 individuals globally.

MGFA is offering a 23-page toolkit to raise awareness that provides ideas for disease education  and outreach even during the COVID-19 pandemic, when most people are practicing social distancing or staying at home.

Toolkit suggestions include using social media to share events and stories, including hashtags such as #MGStrong and #MGFA. The kit also includes instructions for creating a Facebook fan page or event, and basic information about how specific social media platforms work.

Other ideas include putting up MG Awareness posters in stores, pharmacies, and other public places; disseminating facts about myasthenia gravis; discussing personal experiences at a school, medical center, or other group; engaging organizations in designing campaign posters; communicating with elected officials about legislation that affects myasthenia gravis; and writing an editorial for submission to a news outlet about the need for research funding and greater disease awareness.

Supporters are also encouraged to ask local businesses to give a discount to customers who bring in a handmade snowflake with #MGStrong printed on it. Myasthenia gravis is often called the “snowflake disease” because it differs considerably from person to person and from time to time.

The toolkit also provides information about how to make local officials aware of MG Awareness Month and to request a proclamation, as well as guidance for potential news stories about the month. Ideas for gaining coverage include inviting media members to an event or community gathering, or sharing a milestone reached in a support or volunteer group for myasthenia gravis. The toolkit includes a sample “media alert” or invitation.

There are also tips on how and when to “pitch” stories to media outlets, how to prepare for reporters’ questions, and what to do after the story is aired or published.

Supporters are asked to help raise awareness by providing brochures to local healthcare providers and professionals, and by promoting participation in the organization’s nationwide MG Partners in Care program, which recognizes and supports quality care for people with myasthenia gravis.

MGFA is again asking that streetlights and landmarks — such as corporate buildings, sports stadiums, and bridges — be illuminated in teal, the official MG color, throughout June. Twenty-six states participated in the effort last year, including the United Center in Chicago, and Legislative Hall in Dover, Delaware. The toolkit has instructions for requesting and organizing a lighting.

For more campaign information, contact the MGFA at 800-541-5454, or write to [email protected]

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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José is a science news writer with a PhD in Neuroscience from Universidade of Porto, in Portugal. He has also studied Biochemistry at Universidade do Porto and was a postdoctoral associate at Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York, and at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. His work has ranged from the association of central cardiovascular and pain control to the neurobiological basis of hypertension, and the molecular pathways driving Alzheimer’s disease
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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