While the winds reached epic strengths of 100 miles and higher, tornado and macro burst speeds, trees were being uprooted and so many people were without power in Connecticut, there were also dramatic happenings in Washington DC. There are not enough superlatives to describe the Executive Director and Founder of #PCOSChallenge, Sasha Ottey, so dedication, strength, knowledge and determination will have to do. PCOSChallenge, with Sasha Ottey and William Patterson, put together a day that withstood rain and wind with confident smiles and more. RMACT sent their Patient Advocate, Lisa Rosenthal, to attend the first PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) Advocacy Day to deliver several key messages to legislators.
Each of the CT legislators (Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, Congresspeople Elizabeth Esty, Jim Himes, Joe Courtney, John B. Larson and Rosa DeLauro) were visited (with or without an appointment) and each legislator was gracious enough to have a staff person discuss PCOS with Ms. Rosenthal.
Three Important Messages Delivered- In Person
1. PCOS is a disease affecting 1 in 10 women.
2. Because it’s a syndrome that affects many different organs and systems in a woman’s body, diagnosis is often delayed, and treatment is complex and challenging to both the physicians trying to decipher the symptoms and the patients bombarded by them.
3. House Resolution 864 is a bill that will officially recognize September as PCOS Awareness Month. This bill has already passed in the senate (special thank you to CT Senator Richard Blumenthal for supporting the senate bill), now it needs to pass in Congress. 67 Congresspeople are on board, including 2 out of the 5 of the Connecticut Congresspeople. (Thank you to Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty and Congressman Jim Himes for recognizing PCOS as a major women’s health problem and supporting awareness.)
How Can You Help? Otherwise Known as The Call to Action
Getting down to it, how can you help? PCOS has been languishing in the “I don’t know what this is” and “I don’t know who to see” and “I don’t know what to do about it” categories for way too long and it’s time for that to stop and that time is now.
There are two concrete, viable options for you to affect change. Choose and act on one. Even better, choose both and act on both. Neither will take more than 10 minutes of your time.
- First, call your Congressperson and tell them you want them to support House Resolution 864. Tell your friends, your family members and your colleagues to call too. Don’t know who your Congressperson is? Most of us don’t, so there’s no shaming here. Here’s an easy way to figure it out. Estimated time to call and leave a message for your legislator? 10 minutes or less.
- Second, sign this petition. Started by Ashley Levinson (PCOSGurl), a #PCOSAdvocate who is devoted to educating, supporting and advocating for all those with #PCOS. Shelby Katherine is using her considerable connections to add to this mission and through their efforts, this petition has over 19,000 signatures. The goal? 25,000. The real goal? 50,000. The really real goal? 100,000 and more. Estimated time to sign the petition? Two minutes or less. Estimated time to share the petition and ask for your friends and family to sign? Five minutes or less.
Consider this, just one key message of PCOS Advocacy Day and this petition: “The NIH needs to allocate more than 0.1% of funding to the approximately 30 million women affected in The United States and needs to engage and direct federal agencies to support more research, better physician education and better tools and resources for women and girls with the syndrome to live healthier lives with healthier outcomes.”
Women deserve better health care than those challenged by PCOS routinely receive.