Creating awareness of a rare disease such as myositis is vital to not just informing the public of the disease but to also help myositis patients find resources they can call upon to help them cope with their disease. The Myositis Association (TMA) had the US Congress designate September 21 as Myositis Awareness Day, and Central Recovery Press encourages support groups to use this landmark day to draw attention to the disease and the help that is available for those living with myositis, as well as for the those who are the caregivers of a myositis patient.
More than eighty health conditions are caused by autoimmune disease, the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) estimates that fifty million Americans have an autoimmune disease. However, myositis has much lower numbers and is classified as a “Rare Disease” by National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD).
Myositis is the umbrella name for dermatomyositis, polymyositis, inclusion body myositis, and juvenile myositis. These chronic diseases are dangerously undiagnosed, under-treated, and misunderstood. Often the people suffering from them are dismissed and minimalized by the doctors in charge of their care because of a lack of knowledge due to the disease’s rarity. It is vitally important for patients to get prompt, appropriate, and competent medical testing and care. Patients must also learn to advocate for themselves and develop coping mechanisms to live well within their new normal.
The Marvelous Transformation is a great resource to share with medical practitioners and family members to show a real-world account of what it is like for patients living with myositis. It also provides patients with practical information and strategies to ease physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional discomfort. Emily Filmore discusses her twenty years of disease experiences, including the struggle to get diagnosed, the daily truths of living with myositis, importance of a strong support system, and lack of clear and effective treatment regimens. She recounts her voyage of heartache and triumph through therapeutic relationships with approximately twenty doctors, innumerable medical tests, surgeries, procedures, medications, and alternative health modalities.
Emily has shown that a chronic illness doesn’t have to lead to chronic unhappiness. She empowers her readers to take control of their own realities by advocating for themselves for proper care, practicing moments of gratitude, finding the gifts in a negative situation, and providing specific tips for how to transform their own lives.
Emily Filmore serves on the Board of Directors of Myositis Support and Understanding Association, Inc. a new nonprofit started by patients for patients. More information about Emily and her book can be found at emilyfilmore.com and centralrecoverypress.com.