Monday, June 25, 2012

Non-Profit Organization Update: How To Get Involved

I have mentioned on this blog before that I am co-founding a new Non- Profit.  Some things have changed that I wanted to disclose and update you all on.

Back in November or so, I had started putting together thoughts and ideas for a new Non-Profit Organization (NPO) that would help improve the situation across Virginia, the DC area, and MD.  I had big ideas about how to help people avoid what I have gone though for the last 10 years, but knew I could not do it alone, especially from a bed on a laptop.  Part of my vision was uniting all the bloggers and organizations into one happy Dysautonomia awareness family, because everything seems very disjointed and fractured.  Well, Team Fight POTS was birthed out of that, and it has been great to work with other bloggers and activists, and hopefully we have helped people along the way.  Unfortunately, after reaching out to a few non-profits, not many actual organizations are willing to work together it turns out.  Bloggers and frustrated patients, yes - organizations, no.  So I decided I would start my own.

I began with this blog, and Team Fight POTS came shortly after, and in the process met a few folks with the same idea.  Originally we tried to work with an existing NPO, but eventually decided to work together on a completely new NPO, Dysautonomia International, which I have mentioned on here before.   

Unfortunately, after lots of hard work and many hours, I resigned and am no longer working with the group Dysautonomia International for a variety of reasons. We have some irresolvable differing issues and ideas about how to best achieve our goals, and I actually am going back to focusing on VA, DC, and MD.  The situation here for dysautonomia patients is BAD, and there is a massive lack of resources and public knowledge.  That needs to change.  That can not be done with a blog alone.

We already have an amazing group of people to get things started (or continued, actually), and we are filing paperwork and finalizing our web content and team.  More details will follow as they evolve.  My goal has always been to educate educate educate - and empower patients to improve their lives.  

So the new non-profit will be called.....drum roll please........

Dysautonomia SOS: Searching Out Solutions 

The NPO will focus on improving local resources, but will also provide (many free) materials for anyone anywhere with dysautonomia.  Our focus will be on the Orthostatic Intolerance disorders: POTS, NMS/NMH, OI, and OH.  We will provide basic info on the others.  We have BIG PLANS for our region, and helping patients get the treatment they deserve, access to the resources they need, increasing awareness, and raising funds for research.   AND FINDING YOUR POTS CAUSE! We hope to work in conjunction with a nationally focused NPO, and we'll see what happens, and few things are in the works.

We have a great group of volunteers and medical advisers, but are looking for more help.  We are 100% volunteer run, and applying for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.  We are laying out clear cut ideas and goals so that everyone that volunteers knows where we stand and what we want to achieve.  They include (but are in no way limited to):
  • Focusing on POTS, Syncopal disorders (NMS/NMH, OI, OH), Autonomic Neuropathy, and finding the underlying causes of these disorders.   Providing information of the other forms of dysautonomia and links to resources,
  • Empowering and educating patients, caregivers, medical professionals, and the public by providing credible, medically reviewed educational materials and solutions for everyday life, available for FREE to everyone online,
  • Providing free brochures and access to these materials in doctor’s offices, hospitals, schools, and other applicable public places across the VA/DC/MD region (you will be able to order these materials to print and distribute in your own region outside VA/DC/MD as well), thus increasing public awareness, decreasing diagnosis time, and improving treatment options for dysautonomia patients,
  • Funding research, fellowships, new autonomic equipment, and projects that directly impact and improve the lives of patients in VA/DC/MD, &
  • Working together with the medical community , other organizations, and public to provide support and improve the quality of the lives of dysautonomia patients in our region and around the world.
If you are interested in volunteering, even a small amount of time - please email me for a list of positions and needs we have right now, or if you want to receive updates and info on volunteering as it becomes available.  And you don't have to be in VA/DC/MD or know about Dysauutonmia to get involved!   I still hope to work with the other organizations out there, I really feel like we are such a large patient population, and we need to unite to get things done, especially regarding awareness and research.

This may be wishful thinking, but who knows?

If you would like to apply to be on our Medical Advisory Committee or Board, please email Claire at  Volunteers do not need to be located in VA/DC/MD, as we will be providing services that aim to help and are available to EVERYONE.  


1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic vision and I HOPE you are successful at bridging the gaps in our committees. Education is key.