Posts belonging to Category 'Events and Fundraisers'

EB Events This Fall

With fall right around the corner, we thought it was a great time to make everyone aware of some upcoming fundraisers and awareness events that can benefit the EB community as well as educate others. If you know of any upcoming EB events, please let us know by emailing me at leslie.rader@hollisterwoundcare.com.

 

  • Mats Wilander Foundation & DebRA of America Tennis Pro-Am (Forest Hills, NY)
    Check out this 3rd annual event to be held at the West Side Tennis Club Wednesday, Sept. 2. Wilander will be joined by past pros and celebrity guests on three different court surfaces. Participants will enjoy food, refreshments, instructional clinics, competitions and more, with proceeds to benefit DebRA of America. For more information about this event, click here.
     
  • 2nd Annual Butterfly 5K (Lore City, OH)
    Walkers and runners can sign up for this event in honor of Hannah Blake Saturday, Sept. 12 at Salt Fork State Park, located at 14755 Cadiz Rd. The race course is paved so those with strollers and wheelchairs can enjoy this family-friendly event. The park also offers overnight accommodations for anyone looking to extend their visit with cottages, lodge rooms and campgrounds available.The day will include music, food and raffles. For more information about this event, click here, call 740-491-0396 or email abbyroberts93@yahoo.com.
     
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Quarter Auction (Chesapeake City, MD)
    Supporters at this Saturday, September 26 EB fundraiser will be able to bid on donated items and enjoy food and beverages at VFW Chesapeake City located at 304 Basil Av. Tickets are $7 for two bid paddles in advance and $9 at the door. For more information about this event, click here or to register, call Carolyn at 443-655-7816.
     
  • Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN)
    EB Research Partnership is taking part in this annual marathon Friday through Sunday, October 2-4 for the organization's support of the research work of Dr. Jakub Tolar at the University of Minnesota. In the last four years, EBRP has raised almost $500,000 for its EB research fundraising efforts. For more information about this event, click here and for sign-up details, contact Abbie Levine at abbie@ebresearch.org.
     
  • Team DEBRA at the NYC Full Marathon and Half-Marathon (New York, NY)
    TEAM DEBRA is seeking the support of donors and fans to cheer them on at this year's marathon event Sunday, November 1. Since 2012, a team representing DebRA of America has raised over $100,000 for the organization's programs and services. For more information about this event, click here.
     
  • 17th Annual DebRA of America Benefit (New York, NY)
    Art lovers and EB community supporters alike can come out for a special fundraiser Monday, November 16 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. This year's benefit will honor John F. Crowley for his extensive work in the rare disease field. For more information about this event, click here.

EB Events This Fall

With fall right around the corner, we thought it was a great time to make everyone aware of some upcoming fundraisers and awareness events that can benefit the EB community as well as educate others. If you know of any upcoming EB events, please let us know by emailing me at leslie.rader@hollisterwoundcare.com.

  • Mats Wilander Foundation & DebRA of America Tennis Pro-Am (Forest Hills, NY)
    Check out this 3rd annual event to be held at the West Side Tennis Club Wednesday, Sept. 2. Wilander will be joined by past pros and celebrity guests on three different court surfaces. Participants will enjoy food, refreshments, instructional clinics, competitions and more, with proceeds to benefit DebRA of America. For more information about this event, click here.
  • 2nd Annual Butterfly 5K (Lore City, OH)
    Walkers and runners can sign up for this event in honor of Hannah Blake Saturday, Sept. 12 at Salt Fork State Park, located at 14755 Cadiz Rd. The race course is paved so those with strollers and wheelchairs can enjoy this family-friendly event. The park also offers overnight accommodations for anyone looking to extend their visit with cottages, lodge rooms and campgrounds available.The day will include music, food and raffles. For more information about this event, click here, call 740-491-0396 or email abbyroberts93@yahoo.com.
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Quarter Auction (Chesapeake City, MD)
    Supporters at this Saturday, September 26 EB fundraiser will be able to bid on donated items and enjoy food and beverages at VFW Chesapeake City located at 304 Basil Av. Tickets are $7 for two bid paddles in advance and $9 at the door. For more information about this event, click here or to register, call Carolyn at 443-655-7816.
  • Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN)
    EB Research Partnership is taking part in this annual marathon Friday through Sunday, October 2-4 for the organization’s support of the research work of Dr. Jakub Tolar at the University of Minnesota. In the last four years, EBRP has raised almost $500,000 for its EB research fundraising efforts. For more information about this event, click here and for sign-up details, contact Abbie Levine at abbie@ebresearch.org.
  • Team DEBRA at the NYC Full Marathon and Half-Marathon (New York, NY)
    TEAM DEBRA is seeking the support of donors and fans to cheer them on at this year’s marathon event Sunday, November 1. Since 2012, a team representing DebRA of America has raised over $100,000 for the organization’s programs and services. For more information about this event, click here.
  • 17th Annual DebRA of America Benefit (New York, NY)
    Art lovers and EB community supporters alike can come out for a special fundraiser Monday, November 16 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. This year’s benefit will honor John F. Crowley for his extensive work in the rare disease field. For more information about this event, click here.

Growing Support for EB Awareness

Whenever we have the opportunity, we like to share information about upcoming EB awareness events and fundraisers so that our fellow members of the EB community show their support or help spread the word through their own social media channels. Here is a diverse list of events we have learned will be taking place over the next few months, and it involves everything from running to biking to gambling.

  • 2015 New York City Half Marathon (New York, NY)
    Supporters can come out to cheer or donate to TEAM DEBRA taking part in this race event on Sunday, March 15. Runners will take a 13.1 mile tour of The Big Apple, and 100% of TEAM DEBRA's donations raised will go toward DebRA of America's programs and services. For more information about this event, click here.
     
  • Cycle for a Cure (New York, NY)
    If bicycling is more your interest, a fundraiser is scheduled later this month that will allow participants to take a fun bike ride together, again around New York City. The event starts at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at SoulCycle's West 27th St. Studio. Participation is open to cyclists age 18 and over with tickets $50 general admission and $75 VIP. For more information about this event, click here.
     
  • Dig Up a Cure for EB (Lexington, NC)
    Families can take part in a volleyball tournament with six or more players required per team, with two separate brackets based on skill level, at this event scheduled Saturday, March 21, at North Davidson High School located at 7227 Old U.S. Hwy. 52. For more information about this event, click here and scroll down to one of the North Carolina event entries.
     
  • What Were We Talking About? An original play (Louisville, KY)
    Those in or near the Louisville, KY-area can come out for a performance of an original play written by the Wyoming Magnolias and being performed at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Gardenscourt Louisville Seminary, with proceeds to benefit the EB community. For more information about this event, click here.
     
  • Cyndi's Wish for a Cure (Miss Point, MS)
    Supporters can shop at this garage sale with proceeds benefiting DebRA of America. Event takes place 6 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 11, at 17729 Hwy. 613. For more information about this event, click here.
     
  • All In for a Cure (New York, NY)
    Poker fans can have some fun and benefit the EB Research Partnership at this debut Texas Hold 'em EB fundraiser 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, at the Penn Club. For more information about this event, click here.
     
  • Flying Pig Races (Cincinnati, OH)
    This series of 10 race events takes place over Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3, featuring a marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K, 4-person relay, Beer Series, High School Challenge and Kids's events. For a third consecutive year, DebRA of America has been selected as the official charity partner for this 17th annual benefit and will have a tent set up at the event. For more information about this event, click here.
     
  • 9th Annual Butterfly Wishes for Ellie (Atlanta, GA)
    This benefit event and silent auction in honor of Ellie Tavani will be held on Thursday, May 7, at The Park Tavern in Midtown Atlanta. Last year's event raised nearly $50,000 for DebRA. For more information about this event, click here and scroll down to the Georgia section.
     
  • 4th Annual Jogging for Jonah (Clemmons, NC)
    This race event in honor of Jonah Williams is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 9 at Tanglewood Park. The day will include a 5K race and fun run, as well as a raffle, face painting, inflatables, food and beverages, music and more. Proceeds benefit DebRA of America. For more information about this event, click here and scroll down to one of the North Carolina event entries.

If you know of some future EB awareness events or fundraisers scheduled, please reach out to us at leslie.rader@hollisterwoundcare.com so we can help promote these upcoming benefits in future social media posts or blogs. And many thanks in advance to all of those who have invested their time, energy and resources in coordinating and supporting these events to directly benefit the EB community. We are sending best wishes to all of you for very successful events!

EB Awareness Week

*The information provided in this blog is not medical advice and is not intended to, and does not, replace the advice provided by your healthcare professional. Always seek advice from your licensed healthcare professional in regards to your healthcare needs.

EB Awareness Week is nearly here, an annual, international campaign to educate others about epidermolysis bullosa as well as garner support for EB families. Each one of us has the ability to make a difference and be a part of this collective effort. EB Awareness Week runs from October 25 through October 31. How will you be involved?

Here are some suggestions:

•    Support events far and wide in any manner possible.
Visit sites like DebRA of America, the EB Research Partnership, EBMRF and others for information about local and national events taking place during EB Awareness Week. Spread the word via social media platforms so that others who are located in those areas can take part and find ways to show your own support whether near or far, either through fundraising or promotional means.

•    Coordinate your own virtual or in-person EB Awareness event.
It’s not too late to kick off a fundraising or awareness campaign online or host a small event at work or in your neighborhood. Check with your HR representative about holding an informal fundraiser at the office or find out what is required to set up an information table outside your community center or local library.

•    Spread Your Own EB Message to Raise Awareness.
Do you blog? If so, why not include a special entry during EB Awareness Week? Or better yet, maybe blog something different about EB that people may not be aware of or post on a social media platform a different EB-related link each day. We appreciate you including EB Resource for one of them, if you do!

•    Extend a Hand Wherever It Is Needed Most.
If you personally know an EB family, take this time to reach out to them this week and offer to pitch in with some errands to alleviate stress. Or better yet, ask the parents what you and your family could do to best support them. Sometimes people are afraid to ask for help but when an offer is extended, it may be just what is needed.

•    ‘Pass It On’ During Our Upcoming Tweet-a-Thon.
Every year we take 24 hours to devote entirely to tweeting about EB hourly. We ask those who follow the EB Resource Twitter page to RT as many if not all of our tweets designed to introduce EB to those unfamiliar with the skin disorder and demonstrate ways they can get involved to learn more or be a part of the movement to find a cure and better treatments for EB. We simply ask those who RT to include our designated hashtag #RT4EB. So look for that Tweet-a-Thon to begin 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28 and run through 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Fall Fundraisers & EB Awareness

It’s hard to believe that EB Awareness Week is only two months away. Have you begun making plans to initiate any fundraisers or EB awareness events in your community for later this year? We’ve rounded up the list so far of events taking place both during this special national awareness week, and also during the remainder of the year.

If you know of any additional events being held this fall or early winter, please let us know. You can email me at leslie.rader@hollisterwoundcare.com or let us know in the comments on our blog or Facebook and Twitter pages. We appreciate you helping us spread the word about the great ways people are educating others about EB.

Currently, these are some events to be aware of taking place later this year.

  • First Annual Butterfly 5K (Lore City, OH)
    Those in the Buckeye State can come out for the debut of this special 5K event in honor of Hannah Blake, which starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 in Salt Fork State Park, located at 14755 Cadiz Rd. This promises to be a fun family event with music, food, raffles and a 5K open to runners, walkers, as well as those with strollers and wheelchairs, too. For more information, click on this event link.
     
  • 16th Annual DebRA of America Benefit (New York, NY)
    This event to celebrate the official kickoff of National EB Awareness Week is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22 at the B.B. King Blues Club, located at 257 W. 42nd St. The evening will feature casino games with proceeds to benefit the organization’s various programs. For more information, click on this event link.
     
  • TCS New York City Marathon, Team DebRA (New York, NY)
    Show your support by raising funds or participating in the world’s largest marathon as part of Team DebRA. It will take place on Sunday, Nov. 2. All proceeds benefit DebRA of America. Kudos to this year’s list of participants so far – click here for a peek at that list. For more information, click on this event link.

Gearing up for Patient Care Conference

It’s hard to believe that DebRA’s 2014 Patient Care Conference is only two weeks away! The PCC is such a significant event for those in the EB community, and it offers families and those diagnosed with EB a chance to meet and learn from one another as well as interact with and hear from EB advocates and respected members of the medical field discuss the latest treatment and research news. Although registration is closed for the event, there is still time to get prepared for this upcoming event which only takes place every other year.

This year’s event is scheduled for Wednesday, July 30 through Saturday, August 2 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville. The 2014 agenda features a variety of speakers who will talk about such topics as bone health, oral care, genetic testing, blood and marrow transplantation and much more. For a glimpse at this year’s preliminary agenda, click here.

There will also be an area for guests to meet exhibitors, such as bandage manufacturers like Hollister Wound Care and others. I encourage you to stop by the exhibitor area. It can also be a very valuable use of your time. It’s a great opportunity to pick up samples of products you may have heard of but not yet tried, or to ask questions and become more educated about products you’re already using or considering.

As in past years, DebRA organizers have thought ahead and set up some wonderful activities for the children to take part in while parents are attending presentations with well-stockedl playrooms onsite. Kids will have the chance to play together and enjoy games, movies, toys, books, arts and crafts right there near the main conference area. There will be volunteers overseeing the playroom at all times though kids under five years old will need to be accompanied by an adult. At every PCC there is a unique family event planned, and this year it’s a field trip on the General Jackson Showboat to take place Thursday, July 31 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Anyone who has ever visited a Gaylord hotel knows that these are unbelievably beautiful and large hotels with such a lush and comfortable environment and beautiful indoor botanical gardens, cascading waterfalls, and plenty of places to stop by and see onsite, so it promises to be a fun event for all.

I’m excited about this year’s event and getting a chance to meet everyone, to see some familiar faces, and become acquainted with some new members of the EB community. And I’ll be sharing some thoughts about this year’s event later on this summer but if you’re unable to attend, you can keep up with it daily on a variety of social media including DebRA’s Twitter and Facebook pages. And if you are going, they’ve asked any of us who might be doing some tweeting or Facebook posts of our own to use the hashtags #debraPCC and #EBawareness.

For more information about this year’s event, you can visit the main PCC page at www.debra.org/pcc2014. If you see me there, be sure to stop by and say hi. I look forward to seeing everybody soon!

Upcoming EB Events

We’re not even two weeks into the new year and already we’re raring to go to promote any future EB awareness events or fundraisers that we’ve learned about. The following events are currently listed on the DebRA website, where additional information can be found on either the local events page or DebRA-hosted events page. Proceeds from each of these events will go toward DebRA’s various programs and services to support EB families as well as research for treatments and a cure.

If you know of any other events taking place during the first half of 2014 to benefit any EB-focused organization, EB support program or individual or family directly impacted by EB, please let us know. You can email leslie.rader@hollisterwoundcare.com or leave a comment on the blog or at Facebook or Twitter. And we’ll be sure to help spread the word, too!

  • “TEAM DEBRA” at the Florida Disney Half Marathon (Orlando, FL)
    This year, there will be the debut of a TEAM DebRA taking part in the event held Saturday, January 11 at Walt Disney World Epcot Center.
  • Cure 4 Cole 2 (Jacksonville Beach, FL)
    This two-day musical event takes place Saturday, January 25 and Sunday, January 26 at the Landshark Café, 1728 3rd St. N. This second annual event features performances from a dozen bands, including Celinda Pink and The Music Factory and The Drifters, and also includes an auction of donated musical instruments.
     
  • 3rd Annual Rafi’s Run Celebrating Rafi Kopelan (New York, NY)
    This popular DebRA of America fundraiser is scheduled for Sunday, March. 9 at 10 a.m. in Riverside Park, 103rd St. Additional details about registration and other happenings at the benefit will be posted soon.
     
  • “TEAM DEBRA” at the NYC Half Marathon (New York, NY)
    Supporters can inquire about participating, sponsoring or coming out to volunteer or cheer on those taking part in this unique 13.1 mile trek through the Big Apple on Sunday, March 16.
     
  • “TEAM DEBRA” at the 16th Annual Flying Pig Marathon (Cincinnati, OH)
    This race, scheduled for Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4, is a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon and offers over 10 events including the marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K, 4-person relay, kids’ events and more.

Dedicate Yourself to Raising EB Awareness

It’s here: National EB Awareness Week. As always, we’re urging all of the members of the EB Resource communities at both Twitter and Facebook to use this week as a wonderful platform to educate others about epidermolysis bullosa. This is a perfect opportunity to share your own story, fill people in on the facts about what EB is and what life is like for those diagnosed and for their loved ones caring for them.

This can also be a great time to host or throw your support behind events to raise awareness and dollars for programs supporting EB families, developing better EB treatments or researching to find a cure. Here are some of the events that we have heard about going on across the country. You can do your part to helping to spread the word about these and any other events you should hear about, and if you would, please send our way any info about other events taking place during EB Awareness Week in your community. Thanks!

 

 

  • EB Resource “RT for EB” Tweet-a-Thon (Online only)
    Starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, October 25, we will be tweeting every hour as part of a 24-hour Twitter marathon designed to educate others about EB and encourage our followers and hopefully THEIR followers to spread the message across the twitterverse. The marathon concludes during the 7 a.m. hour on Saturday, October 26 but don’t forget – EB Awareness Week runs through Thursday, Oct. 31, so don’t let our 24-hour campaign stop you from RT’ing long after we’re done! Keep spreading the word and follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ebresource.
     
  • ACTion for Jackson 2013 (New York, NY)
    The Jackson Gabriel Silver Foundation (www.jgsf.org) hosts its fourth annual benefit from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, October 25 at Christie’s, 20 Rockefeller Plaza in NYC. Evening will include cocktails, appetizers and an auction, with Christie’s 19th Century Paintings and Prints on display. Tickets start at $185. Proceeds from the event benefit JGSF’s research fundraising efforts which support promising therapies being developed across the country to treat and cure EB. For more information about the event or to buy tickets, go to www.actionforjackson.com.
     
  • Gourmet Cupboard Fundraiser (Nationwide)
    The Gourmet Cupboard continues its month-long October benefit for DebRA of America during EB Awareness Week and through Thursday, October 31. For every mix purchased from its online store, with mixes ranging from desserts to chili, the company will donate $1.50 each. Visitors must be sure to order through DebRA’s page at www.thegourmetcupboard.com/fundraisers/debraofamerica. Bookmark it and start browsing! After all, holidays are coming…
     
  • Merinda Mae Fundraiser (Hartivlle, OH)
    Stop by the Merinda Mae Children’s Boutique, Hartville MarketPlace at 1289 Edison St. NW, during National EB Awareness Week and help support DebRA of America programs and services. Merinda Mae will donate all profits from Friday, October 25 through Thursday, October 31 to DebRA. For more info, email rhw9976@aol.com.
     
  • EB Awareness Walk-A-Thon (Batesville, MS)
    Sign up to participate in this benefit walk to be held along the walking trail of Batesville Trussell Park on Hwy. 35N and scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 26. All proceeds go toward DebRA of America. For more info, email hfowler@first-heritage.com.

 

  • East Coast Premiere of “What Were We Talking About?” (Spring Lake, NJ)
    Take in an original play by the Wyoming Magnolias, founders of Magnolia Productions, as they put on this stage show in support of the EB community at Spring Lake Community Theatre, 300 Madison Ave. Shows are scheduled Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27, at 7:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively, with all proceeds being donated to DebRA of America. For more info, click here.

 

 

Q&A with DebRA Executive Director Brett Kopelan Part II

Last week, we began featuring part I of a two-part interview with DebRA of America executive director Brett Kopelan, who recently chatted with EB Resource as the organization was undergoing a relocation of its main NYC office. In part I, he shared how he was first introduced to the organization as an EB parent. In the conclusion of our interview, the executive director discusses specifically some initiatives his organization is currently working on to help raise awareness about the disorder.

 

EB Resource (EBR): What is DebRA of America’s main focus?

Brett Kopelan (Brett): Well our main focus is to fund the research that will eventually find a cure or treatment for this disease. I like to say that we are dedicated to easing and eventually eradicating the inherent daily stress of living with EB. But, what separates us from the other organizations is while we support that early-stage research, we are the only organization that has programs and services for the person with EB, the families and the caregivers. For instance, through our Wound Care Clearing House we give out free bandages to people who don’t have insurance coverage or have exhausted their coverage. We have a family crisis fund that helps offset the incredibly expensive cost of the disorder. People can apply for a financial grant to help with doctor and prescription co-pays, medical equipment or anything related to the care of an EB person. We’ve got our Patient Care Conference that runs every other year and that gives families the opportunities to not only socialize with each other but also meet and listen to the experts in clinical care and get updates on the status of research. We don’t charge any money for people to come and each year, more and more people do. Because of EB’s burden of care financially, in many cases this conference becomes the family vacation. And what’s really important is that people can be themselves without having to explain anything. Believe me, that is a relief. Not having to explain the open wounds or say ‘no, she wasn’t burnt in a fire’ is nice for a change. Anyway, there’s our New Family Advocate program where we send a box of supplies and important information and an experienced caregiver to train parents in the care of the new infant and on the use of the supplies. We also recently launched the Smile Fund. It’s a wish-granting program to fulfill small wishes for someone with EB on a monthly basis to bring a smile to their face, whether it’s an iPad or concert tickets. And as the need arises, we’ll keep developing new programs. For what’s considered a smaller organization, we provide a lot of services that are very practical and proactive, and probably our most used program is our nurse educator. People can call or email her and she’ll respond to answer their questions. We’ll be expanding that program soon.

Strategically, we have to bring a larger audience into the EB community and we’re going to do that by buying advertising space and start showing people what this disorder is. If our metrics are right, and we’ve been very conservative in this regard, it is our hope that we might be able to get 25,000 new active donors through advertising. It’s important to go in this direction for so many reasons, not just from a revenue side. The awareness quotient is incredibly important. For instance, last year, there were actually questions about EB on the medical boards, which was a huge thing because all of a sudden you may attract a greater number of younger researchers and clinicians who will gain an interest in it just by being exposed to it. That leads to more research, potential treatments and different ways of doing care. So it’s not just about raising more money.

 

EBR: Many of us in the EB community hear about multiple EB-focused organizations out there, all operating independently to serve the community and wonder if there is any collaboration taking place among these various organizations. Would you speak on that subject?

Brett: Some of the bigger organizations do collaborate in one way or another. I speak regularly with EBMRF and with JGSF to talk about various strategies and events. There are organizations that are solely focused on supporting early-stage research and other organizations that try to help the community and those with EB as best they can. There are a lot of other good organizations out there, but there can be pros and cons about having multiple organizations. The biggest difference with our organization from others is we have a scientific advisory board that helps us determine the best research to fund both nationally and internationally. We’re breaking up our scientific advisory board into a clinical sub-group , a basic science subgroup and an international subgroup to allow for the most up to date trends in care, in research projects and priorities. The clinical subgroup will allow us to be the only organization that can actually provide quality medical information to those with EB. With the rise of social media there is a plethora of care strategies being passed around that may not be safe.  I want people to be able to point to DebRA as providing not only the programs and services but also information from the professionals that specialize in certain areas of care, for instance pain management.

As more people flock to social media, there are a greater number of smaller organizations popping up that really do want to help but without knowing it may actually prove detrimental. For instance, let’s say a new family goes to Facebook and sees 17 organizations. Where do they go? How do they know who to call first? Where will they get the right information and get into a system that gathers information that helps the overall cause? Some of the first questions the pharmaceutical companies or early-stage researchers always ask are ‘what is the prevalence of EB’ and ‘what is the incidence and burden of care,’ and the only way that we can accurately put this information together is by getting a great hold of the market. I think that’s where the problem of having multiple organizations comes in, that you end up losing some of the critical information that’s out there and that pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are asking for. As way of example, if more than one organization distributes wound care supplies, we are unable to fully calculate the cost of having this disorder. DebRA uses the actual cost of care when advocating with the government about reimbursement rates. When a market becomes fragmented it leads to inefficiency. As another example, if all of these organizations ask the same group of people for money, while the overall amount of giving doesn’t change, the level of effect of that one dollar does. Giving thirty three cents to three different organzations is not as effective as giving one dollar to one. That same dollar can have a greater impact on the community. Mind you, I am not saying there should only be DebRA. I am saying that too many organizations will hurt the overall cause.

 

EBR: Are there any areas where we may be seeing other opportunities from possibly outlying influencers that could have a potential positive impact in helping the EB community in some way?

Brett: One of the other things I do is speak at events, and I am on the board of directors of the National Organization for Rare Disorders. I got on there to help give DebRA an avenue for advocacy in Washington D.C., and a direct line of communication. Because of my work at NORD, DebRA was able to get EB listed with the Social Security Administration’s compassionate allowance program.  This allows people with a diagnosis of EB to get to the front of the line for an accelerated review when applying for SSI or SSDI. My next goal is to get Medicare and Medicaid waiver programs in place for those with this disorder. We are planning a day on the hill in D.C. in front of Senators and Congressional representatives to talk about the reimbursement issues of the bandages. NORD’s work was instrumental in getting language passed in recent legislation that allows for accelerated approval of orphan drugs and clinical trials. I have also worked with the FDA in setting up a patient review panel for upcoming clinical trials. I would say there are a lot of things going on that are going to have a huge impact on the EB community.

 

EBR: How has DebRA worked toward getting more media awareness for its efforts to support EB families and early-stage research?

Brett: There’s always media outreach and efforts to get media coverage around our events. But media will cover what it wants to cover, so it can be very difficult to predict. I have a director of communications and events who reaches out to media outlets like ABC and NBC. We do press releases and were recently picked up by over 350 media outlets. I think though the amount of coverage DebRA and EB get will increase once our advertising initiatives begin, because media picks up stories when there’s momentum and there is research momentum being built up. Once we’ll be able to effectively tell that story through advertising and through local events, I think more national media will pickup our story. The more important part of a PR campaign is to be able to do something with the results from that campaign. So, one of the things we’re doing is a complete system implementation here that will allow us to capture data, stories and media momentum and act on it. We’re building an infrastructure here at DebRA that is going to allow us to capitalize on a lot of the media work we’ve been doing.

 

EBR: Are there any campaigns or new partnerships you can share with our community?

Brett: From a strategic point of view, we are launching a new website soon that is going to be more image-intensive and video heavy. I am in conversations with some large advertising firms about taking DebRA on as a pro bono client as well. We’re in the final stages of developing the video for the thirty-second commercial. We’ve gotten a pretty famous singer to do voice-overs for it. We’re developing a much more robust direct mail program. We’ve been building infrastructure and stress testing it slowly to make sure that when we go out and allocate enough resources that will allow us to bring in new donors that we can capture and capitalize on all of it. It’s been a successful couple of years but I think with people like Leslie heading up our board of trustees and marshaling the resources there, it’s only going to become more successful.

I’ve been out there talking to some of the larger Fortune 500 companies, but it can be difficult to get a large national company behind you because causes like community betterment seems to be where some allocate their charitable giving allocations. With that said, the Rite Aid Foundation has given us some money. There’s a group of 40 Walmart stores putting together a local event for us, so the advertising component will allow corporate organizations to see that this is a disorder worth supporting and given the breadth of stuff that we do, they’ll say that DebRA is also an organization worth supporting, too.

 

Fall EB Events and Fundraisers

With EB Awareness Week not far off in the distance, we thought it was a good time to share news of any EB events we have learned of taking place later this fall. If you know of any others, please feel free to let us know here on the blog page or in our Facebook community so we can help support these individuals and families planning them. Thank you!

You may also email me any of the event details at leslie.rader@hollisterwoundcare.com. As always, we’ll do our part to help get the word out to others about it.

  • Wicked Hot Run 5K Walk/Run (Murrells Inlet, SC)
    This event is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 8 at Huntington Beach State Park, located at 16148 Ocean Hwy. The family run offers participants three types of terrain including forest trails, paved roads and sand, with a portion of proceeds to benefit DebRA of America. For more information, click on this event link.
  • MW Foundation and DebRA Tennis Pro-Am (Queens, NY)
    The inaugural MW Foundation event is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 28 at West Side Tennis Club, located at 1 Tennis Place. Proceeds from this inaugural fundraiser featuring former #1 tennis player in the world Mats Wilander will benefit DebRA of America. During the event, participants will get to play with former and current tennis pros and watch a professional exhibition match. For more information, click on this event link.
     
  • 15th Annual DebRA of America Benefit at MOMA (New York, NY)
    This event kicks off National EB Awareness Week on Thursday, Oct. 24 and features silent and live auctions, live music and a private viewing of the 5th Floor painting and sculpture galleries where Van Gogh’s The Starry Night and hundreds of other famous paintings hang. Proceeds benefit DebRA of America. For more information, click on this event link.
     
  • 2013 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend (Minneapolis, MN)
    The Jackson Gabriel Silver Foundation is currently recruiting for its team as part of a weekend-long array of events Friday through Sunday, Oct. 4-6 including a marathon, 10-mile, 10K and 5K. Team JGSF will be running to support the work of University of Minnesota EB researcher Dr. Jakub Tolar. If you would like take part as a member of the team or get involved in some way, email alevine@jgsf.org. Proceeds will benefit DebRA. For more information about this and other events for the organization, click on this event link.
     
  • Frontiers Day Fundraiser (Paris, AR)
    This event coincides with the 33rd Annual Mt. Magazine Frontier Days Festival held in October and features a Civil War re-enactment. The EB event will be held Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Logan County Fairgrounds, 301 W. Walnut. There will be a DebRA booth with information about EB and raffles, giveaways and a special silent auction of handcrafted items. For additional information about this year’s event or to donate an item, email Cindi Hunter at meadowfairies@gmail.com. Proceeds benefit DebRA. For more information, click on this event link.
     
  • “What Were We Talking About?” East Coast Premiere (Spring Lake, NJ)
    This original play written by Linda Stoval, Gretchen Wheeler, Gale Alexander and Vickie Cawthra leaves its Wyoming stomping grounds to make its east coast debut at Spring Lake Community Theatre Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26-27. All proceeds benefit DebRA of America. To purchase tickets, go to this link. For more information, click on this event link.
     
  • ING NYC Marathon, Team DebRA (New York, NY)
    Support or run as a part of a team raising funds to support the EB-focused organization in the world’s largest marathon Sunday, Nov. 3. All proceeds benefit DebRA of America. To check out who is participating in the campaign or to donate, go to this link. For more information, click on this event link.