This month, our #SpotlightOnCLT is shining on our local nonprofit partners who serve and support individuals living with a chronic disease, as well as their families and caregivers, in various ways.
Some of these organizations exist to provide information, financial relief, and raise awareness, while others were created to bring joy or provide emotional support to those with a chronic disease. Though their programs and services vary in purpose, their importance in our community does not. They are all essential to our neighbors facing chronic diseases.
So, what is a chronic disease? A disease is considered chronic if it persists for at least one year and requires ongoing medical attention or monitoring. Some of the most common chronic diseases include heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and alzheimers.
Well...just how prevalent is chronic disease? 60% of Americans have a chronic disease, and further, 40% have two or more. The reality is that chronic disease accounts for 70% of all deaths in America each year. (American Action Forum)
Now that we’ve talked facts, let’s talk myths. Below are three of the most common myths that we want to dispel as we endeavor on this month-long conversation around chronic disease.
Myth 1: Chronic diseases are inevitable.
While chronic diseases are not 100% preventable and family history is relevant to the risk of the disease, 90% of disease manifestation is attributed to external factors and lifestyle habits including tobacco use, poor nutrition, a lack of physical activity and excessive alcohol use.
Myth 2: Chronic diseases are only a problem for the elderly.
While it is true that the risk and prevalence of chronic disease grows as individuals age, 60% of adults under 60 years of age in the United States suffer from a chronic condition and approximately 27% of children, as well (American Action Forum).
Myth 3: Chronic diseases are a life sentence.
While most chronic diseases do not fix themselves and cannot be completely cured by medication or treatment, oftentimes they can be managed and controlled so that the effect on one’s daily life is minimal and livable condition.
Meet our local nonprofit partners below who provide support for those facing chronic disease and get involved with their important work by signing up to volunteer, making a financial donation, or shopping from their Amazon wish lists today!
(Note: While cancer is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases, we will be devoting our June #SpotlightOnCLT specifically to cancer organizations as there are many to highlight in that sector of work alone and they are not listed below but will be separately featured in June.)
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) leads the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fights for those affected by diabetes. Founded in 1940, their mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all those affected by diabetes.
The American Lung Association saves lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research.
Arthritis Foundation- Charlotte
The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes. Leading the fight for the arthritis community, the Arthritis Foundation helps conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. Their goal is to chart a winning course, guiding families in developing personalized plans for living a full life – and making each day another stride towards a cure.
Arthritis Patient Services is a local nonprofit that believes that self-management lifestyle skills will help you stay healthy and happy - despite the chronic pain and dysfunction often associated with arthritis and related chronic health conditions. They are a local resource celebrating 44 years (and counting)!
Camp LUCK is the only camp in the Carolinas for children exclusively with heart disease that is also free of charge to all participants. Not only is Camp LUCK a camp, it offers an array of support services throughout the year for children with heart disease and their families. Camp LUCK performs its mission through three programs: Kids Camp, Family Camp and Camp LUCK Cares.Care Ring
Care Ring is dedicated to providing health services for the uninsured, underinsured or those lacking access to affordable, high-quality health care. Every day they empower individuals with limited resources to establish and maintain good health through three quality programs: a Low-Cost Clinic, Nurse-Family Partnership and Physicians Reach Out. Additionally, Nurse-Family Partnership empowers expectant, low-income mothers to become effective parents and providers for their children. Chronic disease management is one of the top focuses in their clinic. Addtionally, Care Ring connects patients in need of primary and/or specialty care for a chronic illness to a provider in the community who is donated care through their Physicians Reach Out program.
The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with CF the opportunity to lead long, fulfilling lives by funding research and drug development, partnering with the CF community, and advancing high-quality, specialized care.
Dream on 3’s mission is to make dreams come true for children with chronic illnesses, intellectual and developmental disabilities, or life-altering conditions by creating experiences of joy and magic through the world of sports.
The mission of Dudley’s Place is to positively impact the quality of life for individuals living with or at risk for HIV through prevention, education, client-centered services, and coordinated care in collaboration with community partners. Dudley's Place has a vision of all clients enjoying health and wellbeing by eliminating stigma and barriers to care to create a future free of HIV.
Hadassah Charlotte supports medical care and research at the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem. Through opportunities for personal growth, education, advocacy and Jewish continuity Hadassah empowers our members, supporters and youth globally.
Haven Foundation’s mission is to provide comfort and support to families who are struggling to cope with the physical and emotional trauma associated with childhood illness or injury and to lend financial support to the individuals and institutions dedicated to caring for these children in their time of need.
HeartBright Foundation’s mission is to promote cardiovascular wellness through prevention, awareness, and partnerships in the Charlotte Mecklenburg area. They focus mainly on cardiovascular wellness and education by treating the risks such as diabetes, stroke, and hypertension. HeartBright Foundation has a free clinic in the SouthEnd area which helps patients that have (or at high risk for) Heart Disease or Diabetes.
Hope Laugh Play hosts onsite LEGO Build events at local area hospitals, camps, and schools that serve children suffering from illness, disabilities, or other life challenges. Through hope, laughter, and play, they create joyful experiences by providing meaningful programs to those in the community who are coping with health and other life challenges.
House of Mercy provides hope, healing, and a home for persons living with HIV/AIDS. House of Mercy is a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy that serves low-income people from throughout North Carolina and responds to the physical, spiritual, social, emotional, and psychological needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS;
Hugaroo’s mission is to provide new stuffed animals to children who have been admitted to a hospital with a diagnosis of cancer, or have suffered a life-threatening illness or other traumatic conditions.
Kangaroo Kids provides a notebook called "The Pouch" to families with medically fragile children. The Pouch serves as a one-stop place to keep track of all of the child's medical information throughout their medical journey.
Kyden's Keepers provides awareness and support towards pediatric organ donation and children with congenital heart defects. Their purpose is to support families as they are caring for a critically ill child.
The Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter is part of a national force devoted to solving the cruel mystery of lupus while providing caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. They are dedicated to improving the quality of life for all people affected by lupus through programs of research, education, and advocacy. The LFANC is the only statewide lupus organization in North Carolina.
The mission of Make An Impact Foundation is to promote the education and well-being of children by identifying those in severe need as well as those with learning needs, emotional needs, disabilities or disease and creating an opportunity to produce change in their lives.
Make-A-Wish Central & Western North Carolina has granted more than 5,300 wishes since its inception in 1985. They seek to bring every eligible child's wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey as research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness.
MFSE Foundation offers presentations and educational material on stroke and seizure prevention, risk and signs of strokes and seizure. Additionally they provide a scholarship program for those who have suffered a stroke or seizure, as a way to continue their dream of an education. They also find, offer and continue to research the best medical equipment and devices for home use, to make them safe and a little easier for caregivers.
The National MS Society is working toward a world free of MS, where people affected by MS can live their best lives as they stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever. National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Greater Carolinas hosts mass market events to raise money to fund research and provide local programs and services to people and families living with MS.
Parents of Allergic Kids is a network of families in and around Charlotte, NC with food, venom & latex allergies. They offer support and events for parents, teens and children, at little or no cost to the community.
Parkinson Association of the Carolinas (PAC) serves as a resource for individuals & their families affected by Parkinson’s disease in the Carolinas, through education, community outreach & direct support.
RAIN empowers persons living with HIV and those at risk to be healthy and stigma free. RAIN integrates the wisdom and voices of those infected with HIV in the planning and delivery of their services. As a result of their work, they inspire and empower more people to live, open more minds, and help break the stigma of HIV and AIDS regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Seacrest Studios at Levine Children's Hospital has provided young patients staying at Levine Children’s Hospital an outlet in which to engage and explore the creative realms of radio and television, ranging from playing “DJ” and broadcasting their favorite songs to interviewing celebrities and enjoying live performances by musical artists. Levine Children's Hospital is one of only a few children’s hospitals in the country to have this unique resource for our patients and families.
The Diabetes Family Connection is on a mission to positively transform life with diabetes through the power of community. This organization provides year-round recreation-based programs focused on building confidence, optimism, and support for people living with diabetes and their families.