Friday, June 12, 2009

Big Birthday Bash

So Diaper Diaries is having a birthday bash where we get to link up and tell you about our favorite charities. What a great idea! Well, you could probably guess that as mom to a kid with Eosinophilic Esophagitis, I'm gonna point you to APFED--the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders.

Their mission statement:
"American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) is a non-profit organization dedicated to patients and their families coping with eosinophilic disorders. APFED strives to expand education, create awareness, and support research while promoting advocacy among its members."

What they do:
"Create a credible source of information for physicians and patients.
Reach out, find and support those who feel alone with their pain (patients and families).
Unite the physician and patient communities in an effort to empower both sides with a better understanding of one another.
Teach the general public to understand what 'eosinophilic' means to affected families.
Promote and support research into the cause and cure of eosinophilic disorders."

What the heck is EE?
"Eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) is an allergic inflammatory disease characterized by elevated eosinophils in the esophagus. EE is a newly recognized disease that over the past decade has been increasingly diagnosed in children and adults.... Eosinophilic esophagitis is characterized by a large number of eosinophils and inflammation in the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach). These eosinophils persist despite treatment with acid blocking medicines.... In certain families, there may be an inherited (genetic) tendency. In individuals with EE, the eosinophils cause injury to the tissue in the esophagus. EE can be driven by food allergy or intolerance: most patients who eliminate food proteins from their diet (by drinking only an amino-acid based formula) improve."

You can read L's EE story here. Even if you are like me and don't have the money to donate right now, I hope you will go to and learn more about this strange illness and spread the word to anyone you know whose kids are having mysterious GI symptoms that no one can figure out. The only way to diagnose an EGID is by biopsy during endoscopy.

Two of my other favorite charities:
Phoenix Children's Hospital. They literally saved L's life.
March of Dimes

To read about others' favorite charities, check out the Big Birthday Bash at Diaper Diaries.

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