Top 8 Challenge Day is commemorated every year on August 8. This day is used to organize a fundraising challenge where people are asked to fundraise for research into eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders.
Everyone who signs up for the fundraising challenge abstains from the top eight allergenic foods for 24 hours. People are also asked to donate towards the research. This challenge does the double work of spreading awareness about these disorders as well as raising funds for important medical research.
The causes of eosinophilic disorders are still unknown, and the prevalence of these diseases is rising, making Top 8 Challenge Day extremely important.
History of Top 8 Challenge Day
Top 8 Challenge Day is observed on August 8 every year in Australia as part of the country’s National EOS Awareness Week, where people raise awareness for EGIDs. EGIDs is an acronym for eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders. EGIDs are rare genetic disorders, which occur when there’s an above-average amount of eosinophils in the gastrointestinal tract.
Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that plays an important role in the gastrointestinal tract. But an excess of these white cells causes problems. The name and description of the disorder depend on where in the gastrointestinal tract the eosinophils accumulate.
In the esophagus, the disorder is called eosinophilic oesophagitis. In the stomach, it is eosinophilic gastritis. When the disorder occurs in the duodenum, it is called eosinophilic duodenitis. In the small intestine and the large intestine, the disorders are referred to as eosinophilic enteritis and eosinophilic colitis, respectively. Finally, among people where the entire gastrointestinal tract is affected, the disorder is called eosinophilic gastroenteritis.
These EGIDs have severe effects on the human body; The symptoms include difficulty swallowing, frequent vomiting, acid reflux, abdominal pain, and poor weight gain because of malabsorption of nutrition and inability to eat. Unfortunately, the disorder cannot be diagnosed based on the symptoms alone and must be diagnosed via endoscopy with biopsies.
Because of how rare these disorders are, there isn’t a lot of information about them, especially since the symptoms are generic and cannot be used as a basis for a proper diagnosis. Not a lot is known about what causes the EGIDs, but it is assumed to be a response to allergens.
Top 8 Challenge Day timeline
Beginning with smaller meetings in Michigan, the I.E.S. is eventually founded in Sweden to study the role of eosinophils in diseases.
ausEE Inc., a charitable organization that works to raise awareness and spread information about eosinophilic disorders, is founded.
ausEE Inc. starts the Top 8 Challenge, where people vow to stay away from the top eight allergens to fundraise for medical research on EGIDs.
A young 10-year-old Gray spreads the word about EGIDs and the Top 8 Challenge by describing the difficulties her sister faced while living with an EGID.
Top 8 Challenge Day FAQs
What causes EGIDs?
Allergic reactions are believed to be the primary cause of EGIDs.
Is EGID the same as EoE?
EoE is a type of EGID.
Are EGIDs a type of autoimmune disorder?
Since eosinophils are white blood cells, EGIDs are considered an autoimmune disorder.
How to Observe Top 8 Challenge Day
Participate in the Top 8 Challenge
The best way to observe the Top 8 Challenge Day is to abstain from the top eight allergic food groups and raise awareness and funds for EGIDs with ausEE Inc.
Donate to ausEE Inc.
You might not be able to participate in the challenge, but the main intention of the Top 8 Challenge is to raise awareness and funds, so you can always donate towards medical research.
Read about EGIDs
There’s a lot about EGIDs that we still don’t know. A great way to observe the Top 8 Challenge Day is to educate yourself about the diseases.
5 Important Facts About EGIDs
There’s no cure for EGIDs
As of now, there is no cure, and treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms.
One treatment is the elimination diet
This diet involves removing allergenic food groups one at a time, and the Top 8 Challenge is based on this treatment plan.
EGIDs can cause scar tissue
Called fibrosis, scar tissue can form in the gastrointestinal tract as a result of EGIDs if the problem is very severe.
The number of patients is increasing
EGIDs are rare, and in Australia, the numbers are one in 2,000 people, but these numbers are rising every day.
Eosinophilic oesophagitis is the most common type
Eosinophilic oesophagitis is the most common type of EGIDs, and the terms are frequently used interchangeably.
Why Top 8 Challenge Day is Important
We want to raise awareness
A lot of people live with EGIDs, and there isn’t a lot of information about them despite how it changes people’s lives entirely. We want to make sure more people know about these diseases.
We want to raise medical research funds
With one in 2,000 people suffering from the disease without a cure, we want to help make sure there is funding for medical research so a solution can be found. That can only be done by spreading awareness.
We want to honor the sufferers
People suffering from these disorders experience a lot of pain, weakness, and lethargy all their lives. We want to honor them and make them feel seen.
Top 8 Challenge Day dates