We observe ITP Awareness Month in September to honor the people struggling with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (I.T.P.). I.T.P. is an autoimmune disease. This initiative was launched in 2010 by the Platelet Disorder Support Association (P.D.S.A.). The organization is dedicated to raising awareness and bettering the lives of millions of patients who struggle with the disease. Each year a central theme is selected by the P.D.S.A., such as #ITPStrongerTogether and Pump it up for Platelets. This September, join the fight against I.T.P. and give your support to the silent sufferers of this disease.
History of ITP Awareness Month
One in every 10,000 American children is at the risk of developing immune thrombocytopenic purpura (I.T.P.) in their lives. I.T.P., an insidious autoimmune disease, is a bleeding disorder in which the immune system mistakenly destroys platelets essential for bodily function. Such were the struggles of Joan Young, an Ohio native, who was diagnosed with I.T.P. in 1992. After years of failed therapies and dead-end treatments, Young understood the crafty and enduring nature of her illness. She was disappointed with the cruel reality of living with an autoimmune disease and the lonely nature of her fight. Experiencing the invisibility of her struggles for almost six years, she decided to change the course of how people view I.T.P. In 1998, blessed with a temporary remission, she established the Platelet Disorder Support Association.
Young’s experience with loneliness shaped her fight against I.T.P. It was not long before she understood that a better life, filled with the love and care of a community, is possible. In 2010, P.D.S.A. dedicated the month of September as National I.T.P. Awareness Month. Each year, I.T.P. warriors share their approach to healing and living purposeful lives in the face of a lasting disease. The P.D.S.A. community also shares alternative methods of healing from all across the world.
The central mission of the organization is to connect like-minded people against their fight with I.T.P. A coordinated awareness campaign about the disease equips the patients and caregivers with tools to combat it. P.D.S.A. issues an annual social media toolkit to raise awareness about the disease and its manifestations on millions of Americans.
ITP Awareness Month timeline
Joan Young is diagnosed with I.T.P., which changes the trajectory of her life.
Young establishes the Platelet Disorder Support Association for patients with platelet disorders.
The P.D.S.A. dedicates the month of September as National ITP Awareness Month.
The 2016 National Conference rewards $24,000 in scholarships to those in need.
ITP Awareness Month FAQs
What are the symptoms of I.T.P.?
The symptoms of I.T.P. can manifest in characteristic red rash and dots on the skin. An aggressive form of I.T.P. can cause internal bleeding and hemorrhage.
What is an acceptable platelet count?
In normal bodies, a microliter of blood should contain about 150,000 to 400,000 healthy platelets. A reduced platelet count of 100,000 is considered as I.T.P. A platelet count reduced to 30,000 per microliter of blood can result in a serious bleed.
Is I.T.P. hereditary?
I.T.P. has not been ruled as hereditary yet. It is an evolving area of research, with some conclusions pointing towards a genetic pass down.
How to Observe ITP Awareness Month
Host a fundraiser
Statistically, someone in your close circle or a member of your community is struggling with an autoimmune disease. This National ITP Awareness Month, host a fundraiser on their behalf and help them in raising awareness about their disease.
Join the challenge
Platelet Disorder Support Association issues the annual social media toolkit and many interesting challenges ahead of the schedule to maximize participation. You can be a part of these fun activities and become a part of the movement against I.T.P.
Schedule a checkup
Autoimmune diseases can appear out of nowhere. Oftentimes, untreated flu or any other disorder can flare up the immunity system and trigger their onset. This September, get one step ahead of the course and schedule a full body check-up to rule out any such possibility.
5 Surprising Facts About Autoimmune Diseases That You Must Know
It is everywhere
More than 23 million Americans are struggling with autoimmune diseases, making it a leading cause of disability and death.
Women versus men
Women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than men, all due to their strong immune system which acts as a double-edged sword.
The belly of secrets
An upset stomach or consistent digestive programs such as bloody stools and I.B.S. can be a symptom of autoimmune disease.
Give the Cleanex a break
Maintaining an obsessively clean environment with underexposure to bacteria and dirt can damage our immunity system.
It is a family affair
Almost all common autoimmune diseases such as lupus and diabetes are hereditary
Why ITP Awareness Month is Important
It is a lonely journey
Patients battling autoimmune diseases have a lonely road ahead of them. Emergency room visits, experimental treatments, and the chronic instability of health can be an isolating experience. Through P.D.S.A., patients and caregivers can join a safe community that helps them navigate these tumultuous experiences.
Fight the stigma
I.T.P. patients deserve to live fulfilling personal and professional lives, brimmed with options and opportunities. Stigma stemming from ignorance can hinder their shot at happiness. I.T.P. Awareness Month aims to raise awareness about the complexities of this disease.
It gives a stage to the patients
Autoimmune diseases are silent killers. With the support of this month-long campaign, patients can share their struggles with the world and find solace in their community.
ITP Awareness Month dates