In the United States, there is a great need for myocarditis awareness. This cardiovascular disease is the third leading cause of sudden death in children and young adults, including those who are athletic and otherwise healthy. However, myocarditis often goes misdiagnosed in patients because physicians are either unfamiliar with it or patients are deemed too healthy or too young to have cardiac disease.
At the Myocarditis Foundation, it’s our mission to raise awareness about this disease so we can stop myocarditis-related deaths from happening. Here, we outline some of the ways we raise awareness so you can perform your own advocacy and help us fight myocarditis.
Reversing Media Missteps
Myocarditis has claimed the lives of many notable figures, including musical sensation George Michael in 2017. However, many attempted to link his death to drugs and alcohol, taking the spotlight away from its true cause. In a similar vein, medical professionals declared that Michael died of natural causes, further downplaying the fact that his life was claimed by myocarditis and cardiomyopathy.
Whereas Michael’s death could have become a rallying call for myocarditis awareness, the disease remained an unspoken anomaly in the media. The passing of this star beckons us to properly educate both health professionals and the public about myocarditis. This way, patients can receive proper diagnoses and treatment, and the number of myocarditis-related deaths can start on its necessary decline.
Our Myocarditis Advocacy
At the Myocarditis Foundation, we advocate for people all around the world who are affected by myocarditis. Since 2005, our co-founder Leslie T. Cooper, M.D., a renowned myocarditis expert, and the rest of our volunteer team have been educating the public about this disease. Some of the teachings we have spread to others include:
- The current myocarditis death toll
- The causes of myocarditis
- The link between myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy
- The current treatment methods
- How to diagnose myocarditis
To ensure we reach the eyes and ears of the public, our myocarditis-awareness advocacy takes several forms. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
In the past we hosted webinars and lectures and sponsored conferences about myocarditis, which cover its causes, symptoms, treatments, and more. These are designed to educate both healthcare providers and the general public. More recently the doctors are holding talks within cardiology conferences that speak specifically to myocarditis.
Fellowship-Mentor Research Training Program
We offer research grants and an unparalleled training program to help equip researchers with the skills and resources they need to make epidemiological myocarditis breakthroughs.
To invoke change, we encourage the general public to reach out to local legislators about myocarditis. This activism can take the form of hosting a community-wide event, writing a letter to a local politician, and more.
Patient and Family Resources
We have created several resources for patients and their families to help them navigate their diagnosis. These include our informational pages, regular family meetings, and the Inspire Online Myocarditis Support Community.
Take Action Today
There are many ways you can join in our fight against myocarditis. These could include hosting a Facebook fundraiser, attending an event to raise awareness in your community, volunteering at the Myocarditis Foundation, and much more. No matter how you choose to get involved, your efforts could make a major difference in patients’ lives. To learn more about our advocacy efforts and how you can get started, contact us today.