Friday, April 29, 2016

Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation


When adversity hits, how do you respond?
Cower in a corner waiting for the worse, or do you stand up, chest out, determined to fight against the odds?
How about when you get past it, when you successfully overcome? Do you fold your arms, sit in a corner hoping that is the end, hoping that you never hear about it ever again?

When diagnosed with lupus, though it interrupted her life, though she did not understand why what was happening was happening to her, determined to make it and to live life as normally as she could, Mrs. Emma Wilhelmina Halm Danso, decided to fight it. She decided she would not let lupus determine the pace of her life.

Mrs. Halm Danso, Launch of Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation
I remember in school we took a class trip to FESPACO in Ouagadougou. It was such a fun trip especially since it was a road trip from Accra all the way up north into Burkina Faso. Mrs. Halm Danso couldn't join us on the road because of her condition. She flew in to Ouagadougou to join us. Though she missed out on all the fun we had on the road, she joined in to have fun with us in Ouagadougou.

Mrs. Halm Danso with yours truly and our classmates at FESPACO 2009
I didn't know her condition at the time, but I know most of us did not understand what she was going through just to show up. For the rest of us, all we needed to do involved waking up, taking a shower, getting dressed and just joining in. For Mina, it took so much more than that. Did she let her condition stop her from joining in the fun? No! The class was aware there was something going on with her, but what exactly it was, we did not know.

Mina, now much better, knowing what she has been through, is determined to give hope to others suffering from autoimmune disorders. Mina might not have made it without the support system she has, without the support she has had from others. One of the major problems about autoimmune disorders is lack of awareness. No one should be left to deal with this condition alone, and Mrs. Halm Danso, together with her husband, Mr. Kwasi Danso have resolved to inspire hope for persons suffering from autoimmune disorders to live on.

Autoimmune disorders for some reason affect women more than men. Getting correctly diagnosed is difficult because the symptoms are often misleading. Chances are an affected person might be treated for 100 other conditions before being accurately diagnosed. Medication for the condition are astronomically priced (NHIS does not cover treatment), which is sad (very) because access to treatment improves chances of survival. It is not easy, but there is opportunity in adversity and Mina is using this opportunity to help others.

Dentaa at the launch of Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation
I also, will do my bit to support Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Launch - Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation

Autoimmune disorders.
What is an autoimmune disorder?

Our immune system protects is supposed to protect us. Our immune system is supposed to protect us from disease and infection. When our immune system, rather than protect us from disease and infection, attacks healthy body tissue by mistake, then there is a disorder. An autoimmune disorder.

There are over 80 types of autoimmune disorders. The exact cause is unknown and there is no known cure. Majority of those affected are women of African descent.

Imagine waking up one day and your hair's falling out. Or your joints are swollen. Or you have severe inexplicable headaches. Or a rash on your body for no reason. Or inflammation of your skin. Or skin lesions. Or loss of memory. Or shortness of breath. Or chest pain. Well, you could be suffering from a number of diseases, or your immune system could be the cause. Your immune system could be attacking your healthy tissue. How do you deal with this? What is meant to protect you is now harming you. Unfortunately, that is the reality some have to live with.

How many of us know about autoimmune disorders? For those who know, how much do we know? How are those affected coping?
Creating awareness, advocating, fundraising and education on autoimmune disorders is what Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation has set out to do.

Join us on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 9:30 am at the British Council, Accra for the official launch of this foundation.
Autoimmunity: Inspiring Hope to Live on.

Damaged Goods

Roverman Productions in partnership with Vodafone, National Theatre & Joy FM present: DAMAGED GOODS An Ebo Whyte play The Ark...