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NMO Advocacy at Denver Chronic Disease Awareness Day

NMO advocate Tim Woods attended Chronic Disease Awareness Day at the Denver, CO, State Capitol on March 9, raising awareness about NMO.  A collaboration of different charitable organizations, Chronic Disease Awareness Day aimed to foster more political awareness of chronic diseases and educate volunteers and the community at large. The event also offered advocates like Mr. Woods the opportunity to meet with state legislators to discuss issues and house bills related to chronic diseases.

The meetings were organized by the Cancer Action Network (CAN) and their lobbyists, as well as a number of other charitable organizations.  When asked about joining the event, Mr. Woods said, “They gladly welcomed me and my mission.”

Throughout the day, guests were treated to presentations and training that showcased best practices in advocacy. In addition, organizers offered advice on how to talk to state legislators before the advocates met them later that day.

“I was the spokesman for the Rare Disease category,” said Mr. Woods, “and I educated everybody that I could talk to about NMO and my daughter’s story.” Some of other diseases represented at the State Capitol that day included Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ovarian and Breast Cancer.

Overall, Mr. Woods met with five state senators and representatives, sharing his experience with NMO and the goals of the community. During the meetings, they discussed healthcare and shared patient stories. Visitors were even given a closer look at pending legislation including a Colorado House Bill about step therapy, one approach to prescription medication. “I learned a lot,” said Mr. Woods, “about how the state government works and how bills get started, voted on, and all the politics around that process.” Tim’s group was one of 10 groups that day, and were fortunate enough to spend some time in the governor’s office, engaging in conversation with the governor’s staff.

The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation would like to express gratitude to Mr. Woods and all NMO advocates who are raising awareness. Learn more about the Chronic Care Collaborative and learn more about the many ways you can support the NMO community by becoming an NMO advocate.

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