July 10, as it does every year, marks Chronic Disease Day. July 10, or seven-ten, also symbolizes the fact that 7 of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States are directly related to chronic disease. While chronic disease is not something typically celebrated, our organization and other patient and disease advocacy groups across the nation recognize Chronic Disease Day and its vital importance in bringing awareness to the struggles patients face every day. One of the things that the Chronic Disease Coalition does every year working up to July 10 is help patient advocates across the country make formal requests for municipal and/or state proclamations proclaiming July 10 as “Chronic Disease Day.” It is incredibly valuable to see a governor of a state, for example, make that formal proclamation (Pictured right) because it serves as a fantastic tool to educate local citizens, media, other elected leaders and patients about the scope, burden and cost of chronic disease.
Helping people, including media representatives and elected leaders, better understand chronic disease is critical. And in light of the current pandemic crisis, it’s never been more important. In so many instances, people – unless they are directly affected – simply don’t or can’t see the human toll and financial burden of chronic disease. I mean this literally. Millions of Americans have life-changing and life-threatening chronic diseases or conditions, including myself. Yet people who first meet or talk to me, for example, would have no idea of my conditions – it is invisible to them.
This July, recognizing the unique and difficult times we live in, our work is extending well beyond Chronic Disease Day on the 10. In a very positive way throughout the month, our organization and others will be focusing on education, advocacy and mobilization. We are working harder than we’ve ever worked to help people understand a little bit more about chronic disease. We are working to help people understand that chronic disease patients are the most vulnerable to, and most impacted by, COVID-19. And we are working to make sure that the resource and budgetary damage inflicted by COVID-19 on the federal and state governments does not come back to harm chronic disease patients by way of reduced access, coverage or treatments.
Join us for this important work. Follow the Chronic Disease Coalition on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to be informed, participate in the dialogue and connect with others. Reach out to our phenomenal staff or one of our incredible Ambassadors. Join us in July and beyond as we fight to empower patients across the country.