International Angelman Day Supporters Hope to Draw Widespread Attention

International Angelman Day Supporters Hope to Draw Widespread Attention
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On International Angelman Day (IAD), Feb. 15 this year, supporters are hoping to draw widespread attention to the complex genetic neurological disorder and prompt conversations about the community and its needs.

Angelman syndrome (AS) — which affects about 1 in 15,000 people, or half a million, worldwide — can cause developmental delays, seizures, walking and balance disorders, gastrointestinal issues, and little to no speaking ability.

People can mark IAD with a special Facebook frame, sample social media posts, educational flyers, and a commemorative poster. The IAD offerings are courtesy of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation, one of 50 organizations coming together to find ways to help heighten awareness of the disorder and to honor patients and their loved ones.

The day is also set aside for fundraising, mobilizing supporters to further action, and promoting research taking place throughout the world, as well as available resources in different countries.

To help spread awareness online, supporters can share the IAD 2021 poster, and add this year’s Facebook frame to their profile photo. They are also encouraged to use #IAD2021 on all social media posts.

In addition, supporters can customize their images by using a photo of their loved one with Angelman, for friends and family to recognize.

Advocates can also copy a Facebook post to explain Angelman and some of the challenges patients regularly face. A Facebook cover image about IAD is also available from the ASF, as is an educational flyer.

Organizations abroad, such Angelman UK, are also getting into the act. To mark the day, the nonprofit is organizing various regional activities including a visit to a theme park or soft play center — an indoor area for small children with play equipment made from soft materials. The organization is also planning more formal events including presentations from speakers who have expertise in Angelman syndrome. Write to the organization for more information.

The Angelman Syndrome Foundation seeks to advance the awareness and treatment of the disorder through education, information, research, and support.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Ana holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Lisbon and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) in Lisbon, Portugal. She graduated with a BSc in Genetics from the University of Newcastle and received a Masters in Biomolecular Archaeology from the University of Manchester, England. After leaving the lab to pursue a career in Science Communication, she served as the Director of Science Communication at iMM.
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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