By Jamie Walters
People who know me know I think big. Earlier this year I figured what better way to raise awareness about HD than to light up the most iconic structure in Canada? Lo and behold, on May 4th the CN Tower was blue and purple to mark Huntington Disease Awareness month. And thanks to 37,000 social media hits, people around the world knew all about it.
For May Awareness 2016, I want to see lots more landmarks lit up across Canada: Parliament Hill, Niagara Falls, major office buildings, you name it. I want to see a million social media hits, and I want everyone to know why all these places are lit up.
Want to help? Pick a local landmark. The key is starting early. Last year, I got the ball rolling in the fall, before May Awareness.
Next find out what the process is. The CN Tower requires a four-page online application. Being flexible helped: I said May 1st would be the best day, but any day in May would do. The staff at HSC can help with the application if you want, it’s not hard but if you need a certain phrase they can help.
Then be persistent. I sent all kinds of emails to find out who actually makes the decision about lighting up the CN Tower so that I could talk with her directly and explain why this was so important. Once she was on board, I just needed to have HSC send the official request and it was a done deal.
In my hometown of Guelph, I’m hoping to light up City Hall and set up a booth outside with an HSC banner and brochures. In Toronto I’d love to light up the Tower on a day when the Blue Jays have a home game, so we can put a message on the Jumbotron explaining those blue and purple lights are raising awareness about HD.
From here on in, this just gets bigger and better.
*For more information on how to #LightItUp4HD visit www.lightitup4hd.com.