Awareness Day is October 9
Discover how you can make a difference on PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day on October 9. Since it launched in 2009, we’ve worked diligently to raise awareness of PANDAS/PANS in the U.S. by advocating for the enactment of statewide annual PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day Resolutions. Refer to this map for how far we’ve expanded in raising awareness.
If your state is not represented, you can request a proclamation in your area in the following ways:
- Request a proclamation in your city.
- Request a “single year” proclamation in your state.
- Contact your legislator and push for a resolution for an annual PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day. This means you will not have to file paperwork every year! We strongly suggest this option.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you will be submitting a proclamation request or have one approved. Click here for tools to help with legislative efforts.
Awareness Day History
The story of Awareness Day began in 2008 when 12-year-old Stefanos Mitsogiorgakis experienced the sudden onset of OCD, tics, loss of math skills and hallucinations after a strep infection. He was diagnosed with PANDAS.
Despite treatment with plasmapheresis, IVIG and antibiotics, Stefanos would improve only to relapse again with greater severity. The Mayo Clinic discovered unusual and deep infections in the tonsils that likely contributed to his continued relapses.
Christine approached assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and asked if she would be willing to support a day of recognition for PANDAS.
Assemblywoman Malliotakis acknowledged that her heart broke for Stefanos, and she wanted to help. Malliotakis saw the truth in the family’s struggles and requested the New York Congress to approve the proclamation, which was voted on and approved by then-Governor Cuomo.
Christine said at the time, “I have always brought Stefanos with me in public, and I have never hid him from my community. They know how much loss he has suffered.” Christine and Stefanos have given the PANDAS community a gift by establishing this day. We thank them for shining a light on this illness despite their difficult struggle and for providing a template on how to continue to help raise awareness of PANDAS/PANS.
I’m Ready to Make a Difference and Help Raise Awareness!
You can make a difference whether your state has an official proclamation or not! Here are some additional ideas for ways you can raise awareness:
- Distribute flyers at your school or doctor’s office.
- Write to elected or appointed officials to tell them what this day means to you.
- Organize a fundraising drive or event. Every penny raised for PANDAS Network supports our year roundabout agenda of family supports, research, education and advocacy. Learn more about fundraising here
Help us continue to support the children and adults living with PANDAS/PANS.