An advocate is someone who supports a cause publicly, and who pleads the cause of themselves or another. Advocates push for things to get done. For awareness to be spread. For laws to be passed. For rights. They educate. They inspire. Simply put, advocates are heroes.
Who needs to advocate?
You do. If you’re one of the 46 million Americans with arthritis or other chronic joint pain, OR you know someone who is, now is the time. Advocate for yourself and your health.
You can join the Arthritis Foundation’s E-Advocate program to do your part from where ever you live, work, and play. No need to travel if you don’t want to – you can simply email Congress to share your story or your opinion. When you sign up, you will receive Action Alerts sent to your inbox when important arthritis-related issues are debated on Capitol Hill. In under 5 minutes, you can write your elected officials and just tell them that their constituents care about arthritis and how it impacts all of us! Email and social media have made it so easy to fight for a cause and to bring government and communities closer together.
Advocates can also go straight to the source by visiting Capitol Hill themselves, and educating Congress about arthritis, arthritis research, and arthritis programs. In person, advocates of all ages can share their personal story in order to give a face to a statistic – after all, arthritis is the leading cause for disability in this nation, so it is important that the right people are paying attention!
Also, the annual Advocacy Summit brings together advocates, young and old, from across the country to meet with their Members of Congress. This year, the Summit held in Washington, D.C. will be from Feb. 28 – March 2, 2011. At the Advocacy Summit, attendees will learn firsthand about priority advocacy issues, meet face-to-face with Members of Congress to educate them about arthritis and its devastating effects on the 50 million adults and 300,000 kids with the disease, their families, and our country’s economy, and, will let Congress know more needs to be done for people with arthritis. There is also a special Kids Summit for children with Juvenile Arthritis.
That being said, you don’t have to wait until the annual summit to advocate! Year-round you can work to advocate for arthritis. Contact the Arthritis Foundation, Mid Atlantic Region, for more info on how you can get started! Call: 443-738-9622. Arthritis advocates are a crucial voice on Capitol Hill to advance health care legislation that can make life-changing differences for people living with arthritis. Let’s move together!
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