July 13th is Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors Awareness Day! And that “13” has extra relevance.
5,000 Americans are diagnosed with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) each year.
That’s 13 people diagnosed each day.
The Life Raft Group (LRG) launched a campaign called Rare13 – a dynamic, media-driven awareness campaign that addresses the misconception surrounding rare cancers like GIST. LRG is a non profit organization dedicated to the survival of GIST patients.
So first, what are Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors?
A gastrointestinal stromal tumor is a type of tumor that occurs in the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract, most often in the stomach or small intestine. More rarely, it can occur in the colon, rectum, and esophagus.
GISTs are a type of soft-tissue sarcoma, which are rare cancers that begin in the tissues that connect, surround, and support other body structures.
So how we help the Rare 13 campaign? Here’s a handy list of things we can do!
Get to Know the ’13 Faces of GIST’
Sometimes we need to put a face on a particular issue in order to truly and fully empathize. Hence, the LRG humanized this disease with their ’13 Faces of GIST’ campaign, which puts a face – and a story – behind this rare condition. Get to know these brave warriors!
Click here for a sample letter that you can use in a variety of ways, like emailing to a group of friends or colleagues, writing to your government (local and higher), taking an ad out in a local newspaper or church newsletter, and more!? It’s a multi-purpose letter!
3. Get local businesses involved!
You can also ask for support from local businesses and ask them to sponsor and/or partner with the Rare 13 campaign.
Besides helping a great cause, more interest and activity will be directed towards their businesses by becoming part of this national campaign and having the company’s name, website, or logo/tagline in a prominent area of the Rare 13 website. Download the sponsor letter here.
4. Get a Swag Bag!
Get a “Swag Bag” full of goodies like buttons, stickers, and bracelets to give out to friends and family. Email email@example.com to request a bag.
LRG is are asking for a $20 donation to offset the cost of the bags, but it is entirely optional. Just go to the donate page and put RARE 13 in the Honor field.
If nothing else, just take a few seconds and push out some social media love for the organization or awareness day to get a conversation going.