What do zebras have to do with primary immunodeficiency (PI)? Nothing and everything, it seems.
Apparently, there’s a saying in medical school that goes: “When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” In other words, doctors who should be looking for primary immunodeficiency are trained instead to look only for the likely diagnosis.
But PI is often the zebra.
That’s why the Immune Deficiency Foundation encourages the PI community to “Think Zebra!”
Connecting the two was a stroke of genius, in my opinion. Within the PI community, the phrase is cause for unity, a cry to rally around. Not to mention the potential for visual representation – the Immune Deficiency Foundation encourages everyone with PI to wear striped clothing. This leads to greater awareness outside the community.
For kids, “Think Zebra!” is a great way to explain and understand PI.
So, what are some ways you can “Think Zebra!”?
The Immune Deficiency Foundation is full of ideas. You can download the “Think Zebra!” logo from the foundation’s website. The foundation also suggests wearing your best zebra-inspired clothing and sharing photos with its online forum or its Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
The website even has a Zebra Zone for kids, where they can download and print a “Think Zebra!” coloring page. Once finished with their work of art, kids can email or mail the finished piece to the Immune Deficiency Foundation to be featured on the website.
April is the perfect month to “Think Zebra!” (though you should all year-round, too) because it’s National Primary Immunodeficiency Awareness Month.
Further, World PI Week is NEXT WEEK April 22-29.
Now, I would like to leave you with a zebra joke, courtesy of the Immune Deficiency Foundation’s Zebra Zone page.
If a four-legged animal is a quadruped and a two-legged animal is a biped, what’s a zebra?