Innovation through Competition

It’s time to turn our backs on old paradigms. It’s time to make Autoimmune Disease history. As in gone.

In the spirit of the X-Prize Foundation we’ve decided to start a ball rolling towards creating a prize that would inspire, motivate and lead research in a direction that might not be taken without incentive.

We would like to get a $1,000,000 prize ready for PJ Day 2015. It seems like a lot of money to try and raise through a publicly funded mechanism, however if you consider that Autoimmune Disease affects 1 in 5 people, then we can raise Millions in Canada and tens of Millions in the United States if only each person with an Autoimmune Disease donates a buck. Yup, just $1 for each patient.

Let’s do it. Let’s make the seemingly impossible, possible.

Let’s raise a Million Bucks, and let’s find a cure for ALL Autoimmune Disease.

Click Here to Donate

Win Win

At Find The Common Thread our belief is that everything, every situation can be and should strive to have a win-win outcome.

So if you donate to us it’s a win-win.

We win because you believe in what we are trying to do and you’re willing to put your money down to show us.

You win because:

  1. You know that when we reach our goal, there will no longer be Autoimmune Disease to hurt our families, to hurt our workforce, to hurt our health care system, or to hurt our economy as it does now.
  2. BUT you also win because your name was entered in our Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month Contest with thousands of dollars in prizes.
  3. AND you win because when you donate to us this March, we will split that donation in half and give half to your favorite Autoimmune Disease Awareness Charity. We don’t want you to turn your back on anyone, this way they will get a surprise donation, and the working together movement marches on forward toward our common goal to eliminate Autoimmune Disease.

To Enter The Contest, you must send us a picture with the #weonecontest hash tag,to our Facebook Page or Tweet it to @WeggieGirl , showing us how much you’re donating and what charity (if any) you’d like us to share the donation with. We will pick our winner based on those submissions (exceptions accepted in special circumstances, must be approved by a member of the Board) and pending receipt of donation.

For more info on the contest check out our Contest link.

For details on where to send your donation to please click our Donate tab above or I can lead you there from here.

Thank YOU!!!

Find The Common Thread Foundation would like to thank the following people, groups, and organizations for their continued support in our effort to raise awareness for, and work towards the elimination of, Autoimmune Disease.

Our third annual PJ Day to raise awareness for Autoimmune Disease was a success beyond words. Despite the freezing cold temperatures people in our town, surrounding area and across the globe put on their PJ’s in support for those who have no choice but to wear theirs. Autoimmune Disease affects 1 in 5 people and 75% of those are female. There is no cure but we are treated with chemotherapy (sometimes for life, as is the case with me) and steroids, along with  other often toxic drugs to counteract the attack waged on our bodies by our own immune systems. By standing together we can make a difference and change this ever increasing disease. By finding the common thread to all autoimmune disease we can find a cure for them. Not just one, but all of them. What’s more, once we better understand the inner workings of the immune system we will have answers in fields that at first glance seem unrelated; cancer, heart and stroke, transpantation, AIDS, infectious disease. By changing our paradigm and looking for an answer for Autoimmune Disease we might be able to find an answer that has eluded humanity thus far… chronic illness, and its associated human and social cost. We can do it, but only by working together.

WE are the little town that could.


Marmot Basin: Thanks for being our biggest supporters since day one. Thank you for the great incentive prizes this year (Corporate pass, still remains to be won for the biggest donation in March, and 20 lift tickets won by Seton Hospital Jasper) and also for the time, staff and wages that you covered for the Urban PJ Rail Jam for both Breakfast TV and the Evening Street Party, as well as the support we got for the Breakfast TV pre-tape on Thursday.

Mountain Park Lodges:  Thank you for, once again, making the City TV, Breakfast TV shoot a reality by helping us out with the rooms. You, once again, have gone way above and beyond any dreams of help I might have had. Also thank you for donating the rooms for our PJ Day Contest, as well as making the breakfast for the Firemen’s MS Pancake Breakfast during the Breakfast TV taping.

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s Bellman’s Auction: Thank you for the unreal donation to help us get the awareness campaign rolling for the second year in a row. You were the first to give us such a generous cash infusion, and we will be grateful to you always for starting that ball rolling.

Best Western Jasper Inn and Suites: Thank you for donating that great prize of an Executive Room for 2 nights plus dinner. This prize is going towards an awareness raising campaign in collaboration with Virgin Radio in Edmonton through the second half of the month.

Dave MacDowell and Wild Mountain Jasper: Thank you for the donation of the North Face Luggage set for him and her which will be part of the prize package with our Virgin Radio promotion. Thanks also for the ongoing support I get from you every day of the year.

Mount Robson Inn: Thank you for the donation of a room for two nights in Jasper or Lake Louise. This great prize will be one of the draw prizes for people who donate money through the month of March in our second contest of Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month.

Maligne Tours: Thank you for the insane prize you donated as incentive for donations in our second contest of the month (this will also be a draw prize.) 10 tickets for a Cruise and Tea at Maligne Lake. This will make some group a very happy and unforgettable day in Jasper National Park.

Jasper Tramway: Thank you for the donation of yet another great draw prize for the donation part of our contest. The four fly and breakfast tickets will be a joy to another lucky draw prize winner from our donators pool in March.

Downstream Bar: Thank you for the $20 gift certificates to entice Marmot Staff into PJ’s.  You were the first to jump on board, and for that we are grateful.

Freewheel Jasper: Thank you for the donation of 10 Free Rentals for the PJ Day participation prize on February 28. (The winner of that was Seton Hospital)

Elysion Florals: Thank you for the donation of the Monthly Flower Arrangement for one year, to a Jasper recipient. The winner here  is Jasper Elementary School for their support and  playing along on such a bitterly cold day.)

Helping us get ready:

Hugh Lecky & Tekarra Colour Lab: Thanks for always being there for us from long before PJ Day starts. Thanks for the printing of posters, and stickers and the never-ending support we get from you both physically and spiritually.

Ken Kuzminski & Jasper Legion: Thank you for having an Olympics Hockey Final, PJ Breakfast to get the word out and start the fund raising ball rolling.

Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. MacDonald and our esteemed Grade 1 and 2 singers from Jasper Elementary School: Thank you for organizing the second annual ‘will-i-am’ singing of “What I am” in support of PJ Day. This one always makes my eyes leak a little.

Raymond Blanchette-Dube (Mr. B): Thank you for being such a player with the Jasper Elementary School. Thanks for bringing the kids out to support the PJ Run with Tracy Garneau, even though the temperatures were the kind that hurt when you breathe. For that Jasper Elementary School wins the Flower Arrangement from Elysion Florals.

Don Pickle: Thanks for being the first one to jump on board when we came up with a plan to use the snow that was built for the JinJ Street Party once more for PJ Day. Without your initial support we wouldn’t have gone the direction that we went in this year.

Municipality of Jasper: Thank you for helping out with the actual event on the street February 28th and the pre-planning before. Thanks for letting us use the Old Fire Hall for our evening concert and morning shoot.

Marmot Basin: Thank you for all the help with the Breakfast TV pre-tape.

Pyramid Lake Hockey Gang: Jasper Fire and Ice, and the other ‘play-ah-s’ who came out for the pretape hockey pickup for BTV pre-tape.

Gord Bye (Gogo) and Jasper Concrete : Thank you for the help with the heavy equipment and staff to shape the rail park, thank you for the heaters on that bitterly cold evening as well as the light towers so we can better see our frozen breath. Most of all thanks for always being there.

Mike Gere and the snow shapers from Marmot Basin: Thanks for getting it all ready before the day.

Tony Carlton and Carlton Insurance: Thank you for your donation to cover the cost of our Old Fire Hall insurance for PJ Evening.  You’re awesome and we’re grateful!

John Forbosco and Bearberry Gifts: Thanks for classing us up with those awesome onesies.  Three years running, Bearberry’s dressed me up to dress me down to make a point.

Fitzhugh and Nicole Veerman: Thank you for getting people inspired ahead of time, and for being there during the day to support and get some great shots for us. Thanks for being part of the solution.

The Jasper Local and Bob Covey: Thanks for the great write-up and also for the help with the press release. We got some great mileage out of that.

Layne Seabrook: Thanks for meeting with me and hooking me up with Matt Cushing so that we could organize some live music.
Jasper Tourism: Thank you for spreading the word by bringing our posters to Travel Alberta.

Erin Mangum: Thanks sister Weg for getting the word out there and making those great promo videos. You managed to get more hits on here than the TV program. There’s a calling in there for you. Plan B. 😉 You also showed me what the true fighter spirit is. This stupid disease has taken you to such crazy extremes and you’ve come out of it with grace, dignity and wisdom beyond your years.

Rotary International, Jasper: Thanks for the great lunch and the opportunity to light a flame of inspiration on behalf of Autoimmune Disease Awareness and Elimination. I see some great opportunities in the future.

Heather Young Lesley: Thank you Heather for giving me the opportunity to speak with the students of your Medical Anthropology class at the University of Alberta. Reaching those people early will pay off in heaps in the future. Thank you!

Ilona, Vlad, Andja and Ivica: Thank you for getting the entire hotel in Mexico to get their ‘fingers’ on, due to the lack of PJ’s. what awesomeness!

PJ Day 2014, Feb. 28

City TV’s Breakfast Television: Thanks for coming up for a second year in a row to help us spread the word about Autoimmune Disease. It’s a blast working with you and watching you on TV.

Greg Van Tighem and the Fire Brigade: Thank you again for the continuing support and being the servers of pancakes and sausages, the perveyors of hope for those with MS, and the ever cheerful and friendly faces that we all love to be around. It’s so awesome having you be part of our day. We wouldn’t get a fraction of the people out if it weren’t for you…

Mountain Park Lodges: Thank you yet again for making breakfast to be served by the Fire Brigade to raise money for MS.

Marmot Staff that rode the rails and Mike forkeeping it all going from set-up to tear-down.

MS Society Hinton: Thank you for coming out for BTV and the pancake breakfast, thanks for dressing up the place and thanks for your support yet again.

Jasper Chamber of Commerce: Thank you for opening up your doors and giving us all a place to warm up during the filming in the morning.

Tracy Garneau: Thanks for not only being an inspiration but being there for us again this year and leading an inspirational run through the frozen air, with a big smile as always.

Steph Sophocleaus & River Stone Yoga: Thank you for being such an inspiration and going hard when most wouldn’t even attempt going and also for organizing another great PJ Day Yoga. Everyone that went came out of there with big smiles on, and your constant work is beyond anything most fully healthy people can pull off. You’re unreal.

Joe Uri: Thanks buddy for rounding up the troops for the PJ Run with Tracy. Your efforts made the run into a magical moment on top of a magical moment. That’s exactly what I’m hoping will happen with PJ Days in the future. People will get an idea, grab it, and go with it, and then we can all be surprised left right and center of all the wonderful ideas coming to PJ fruition.

Margot Simpson: Thanks beautiful lady for putting up with us and helping out with the power issues. It’s moments and people like this that make me feel like somewhere in the past few hundred years I must have done something right to end up surrounded by amazing people like you.

Mike Merilovich: Thanks buddy for letting us tap into your power for the evening freeze. You’re a gem!

Trevor Groth & Jasper Fire and Ice Gang: Thank you all for closing up shop and coming up for the Breakfast TV Ice Hockey game pre-tape. What a magical group of people you are. How blessed we feel to have you so supportive and in our circle of peeps.

The Prinn Family: Thanks for backing us and me personally since I got home from the hospital. It was you who showed me that it doesn’t matter the name of your autoimmune disease, we (AI patients) are all travelling a very similar path in both our search for diagnosis and our treatment and recovery.  You gave me my first taste of the common thread.

Kelly Bossio, Eleanor Bye, and Jasper Healthcare Foundation: Thank you all for being there for us so that we can promote more fundraising by allowing us to work together. The financial side of this business boggles my chemo infused brain and I’m grateful beyond words for someone who can take it all and make sense of it.

Friends of Jasper: Thanks for promoting PJ Day and improving our mileage. Thanks for raising money for us and being our friends too.

Evening PJ Street Party

Co-Co’s and Lynn Wannop: Thanks for braving the bitter wind and showing up with food for the weary at our freezing cold street party. Knowing you were there made it much easier to get the kids out and you’re a super trooper for playing along.

Matt Cushing: Thank you for being such a great human and organizing a super fun live music event in such crazy weather conditions. It was wonderful being in the Fire Hall where the energy and air were warm and beautiful. You are a wonderful person and I had no idea what a great musician you are as well. You brought tears to my eyes on a number of occasions, and I’m grateful beyond words for you being there.

Chris Peel: Thank you Chris for braving the cold Feb 28 and MC-ing the PJ Rail Jam. The wind was insane yet you stood out there and supported the crew and shouted out our messages. Hopefully that North Wind picked them up and sent them around the globe. You’re awesome and the irony of where you were a year ago that day is not lost on me or anyone else in the know.
The Marmot staff that braved the cold and rode the rails.

George Andrew and The Dead D’og: Thank you for donating the equipment for the Live Music Show without which the evening would have been completely different.

Jasper Concrete: Thank you for keeping us warm out there when the wind tried it’s hardest to put a damper on things.


Jasper Elementary School Grade 1 and 2’s: Thanks little buddies for coming out and singing your hearts out. It is you that inspires people like me to keep on trucking on.

Matt Cushing: Truly great! Thank you!

The Goya Boys: You three are amazing. I heard you at the Christmas Music Recital and knew that others have to hear your music and see your talents. Thanks for helping us out and keep up the great work, can’t wait until you’re fighting off millions of screaming teenage girls and we can say you were there with us at the start.

Matt and Willy: You guys rocked! Thank you for showing up ready to ‘give’er’ on that cold night. You were amazing and so entertaining and I look forward to catching you again with real clothes on 😉

Brown Sugar: Man oh man, you guys (and gal) blew us away.  How absolutely awesome you were, and how happy we all were to be part of your energy in that little room that night. Thank YOU!

Steve Blake: A poet and artist in a silk smoking jacket. You rock buddy! Love your creative talent, your sense of humour and your support. Thanks for finishing the night off with some class.

Special Thanks

Special thanks go to our families. Our loved ones. The ones that are there when we’re curled up in pain. The ones that are there when we are at the top of an obstacle that seemed insurmountable. They are also there with us in all of those ‘in-between’ moments of just being another human. Thanks for loving us and being our inspiration and our rocks. Thanks for not walking away when we’re in the thick of steroid treatment that wreaks havoc on your emotions and looks in one swell swoop. Thank you for sharing our joys of each victory. Thanks for the love and healing energy you give us.

Thanks for the generous donations given to us on PJ Day from the following amazing people:

Sandra Coombe
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s Bellman’s Auction
Mobil One
Magic Bus Tours
Wild Orchid
Friends of Jasper: Thanks for the PJ Animals to start the conversation and also for selling PJ’s to help us raise some funds.

Last but certainly not least, a big thanks goes to all our neighbours and friends in Jasper and abroad who went with the spirit and once again took to the streets, to work and play in their jammies in support of a worthwhile cause. You lead the pack!

The Town of Jasper and its AMAZING RESIDENTS: Thanks to you all for turning an idea into reality. Thanks for taking the lead on Autoimmune Disease savviness. You are the best little town on the planet.

Thanks from our not so bored Board of Directors

Back row left to right: Marta, Jasper the Bear, Richard, Sue
Front row: Steph, Hana

Hana Dankov-Bye: Sister, entrepreneur, manager extraordinaire (Carpet Studio,) and the girl who’s backed up my crazy ideas since day one. Also one in five sportin’ Psoriatic Arthritis. She’s the doer. I’m the idea girl, Hana is the operations girl. Together we’re quite a team.

Susan Cesco: Manager of Friends of Jasper and a member of Rotary International Jasper amongst other things, to keep her busy. Sue always has a smile on her face and a mission in her mind, she is a force to be reckoned with. Also one in five sportin’ Multiple Sclerosis.

Steph Sophocleaus-Lewis: Another strong woman who is so busy it’s amazing she has time to do anything, but she finds a way. Steph is a hotel manager, a business owner and Yoga instructor at River Stone Yoga, as well as a marathon runner. All this seems like more than enough if you are not dealing with a debilitating Autoimmune Disease, but she manages it all while being another one in five and sportin’ Rheumatoid Arthritis, which she has had since she was a young girl.

Richard Ireland: Jasper’s Mayor and a lawyer in our amazing town. With those two credentials alone, Richard is automatically a very busy man, but he has agreed to be part of our group because he has seen first hand the need to raise awareness for Autiommune Disease and who can argue with the mission to find a common thread and a cure for the whole batch. Richard is also one in five sportin’ a type of Vasculitis.

Marta Rode: I’m the last member of our board and am now on permanent disability from my disease and the subsequent treatment. I have worked in many fields but when I went on disability I was working for Parks Canada. I am the last of the one in five in our little group (that makes our situation a five in five) as I also have a type of Vasculitis, Wegener’s Granulomatosis (or the new name for it – Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis.)

And the winner is…..

All of us!

Thank you to everyone who supported us either by being in their PJ’s, or by creating a PJ Day event, or by sponsoring us by donating some amazing prizes for participation, or by raising funds on our behalf.

What an amazing feeling to be a part of such a fantastic energy that is perpetuated and fed by everyone who hears about it, but mostly the members of our insanely cool little community. We are slowly (or quickly, depending on where your perspective resides,) raising awareness and bringing this disease to the understanding of the collective consciousness. With each effort we are closer to our goal, the elimination of all autoimmune disease. A goal that once reached, has the potential to better everything from individual lives, to our economy and well being as a whole. The implications are so far reaching that in this case we truly have an opportunity to change the world for the better.

Seton Hospital Prize WinnerWithout any further delay, the winner of our first prize starting off Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month,

is Seton General Hospital.

Not only did their photo get the most likes, but they’re also the ones who have had me personally and surely every member of our board, or any other Jasper local (or otherwise) who has had the unfortunate luck to have to spend time under that roof. With an autoimmune disease, these ‘luck episodes’ are more frequent than any of us would like, but we are always, always in good hands when under the care of the staff at Seton.

Again, thanks to EVERYONE who helped, joined in, sent us luck, or had our back. Without all of you this would be the crazy dream of just another person, but it’s not, now it’s our collective crazy dream, and we can pull it off. Just watch us go.

Remember there are more prizes to be won… big ones, so get together and have yourself a fundraiser and enter to win some great stuff. Also listen to Virgin Radio in Edmonton (last couple of weeks in March) for other opportunities to win some great prizes and help us spread the word.

Best of health to all!