What SUDC Awareness Means to You, Me and All of Us?
We have just completed our 3rd annual campaign honoring March as SUDC Awareness month. Our staff worked diligently; our community passionately supported all efforts and society learned about the tragedy that befalls families without warning. But, why do we do it?
Awareness reduces isolation.
Whether it is a fundraising event for the SUDC Foundation, a news article like the one on the front page of the Chicago Tribune last month, or a letter to a pediatrician on behalf of a family affected by sudden death, our awareness efforts bring families to the SUDC Foundation who once felt alone. There are few things more profound to the human psyche than to bring someone out of the isolation s/he feels. The Foundation’s family services are available to all families who have experienced the sudden unexpected death of their child and they receive these services at no cost.
We focused on educating medical professionals in March to improve their recognition of SUDC and their care of affected families and to join us in advocating for crucial research into SUDC. Dr. Erin Bowen, member of the SUDC Foundation’s Board of Directors, pediatrician and SUDC mom, directs our SUDC Parent Medical Ambassadors in this coordinated effort. Last month, they successfully provided education on SUDC to over 13,000 pediatricians across 17 states and Canada and all 50 U.S. state chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Dr. Bowen also authored an article on the impact of SUDC on surviving siblings that was published by the AAP Voices blog, reaching over 65,000 pediatricians and over 900 media outlets. Pathologist and pediatrician social media influencers shared our SUDC awareness posts. Now more pathologists and pediatricians than ever before follow the SUDC Foundation on social media to remain informed on SUDC.
Awareness breeds advocacy.
Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Informed citizens are armed and motivated to address change. One of the biggest barriers to our understanding of SUDC is the lack of research and public health attention focusing on SUDC. Research funding is critical and educated advocates who speak with accurate information cannot be ignored. SUDC awareness impacts us all and there is more work to be done. Please join us.