Measles outbreak and what we should really be talking about

There’s been so much talk about the current Measles outbreaks in Alberta, BC, and some places in the US. The constant discussion I hear is about vaccinations. We keep hearing about how vaccinations are our only way out, but this discussion is completely dismissing the enormous group of people who are already immune suppressed and what the dangers are for them.

These are the folks with Autoimmune Diseases, Cancer, AIDS, Organ transplants, and more. We, the immune suppressed, make up a fantastic piece of our population pie. Yet the media is so focused on getting more people vaccinated, they were even talking about the merit of making vaccinations mandatory in Alberta yesterday on CBC. What a load of ka-ka. Just another example of the lack of real knowledge about Autoimmune Disease and how it changes people’s lives once acquired. Why are we as a society always looking for the easy way out when it comes to our health? What about promoting healthy habits, like washing frequently, staying home when sick (instead of proving what a super hero you are for going to school or work) not touching your face holes, eating well, exercising. Too tough for us. It’s much easier to go and get jabbed and call’er done.

What about creating a separate room for either the patients who come in with obvious contagions or for those who self announce a compromised immune system…. for whatever reason. This would stop countless, unnecessary deaths and millions of dollars nation-wide on the healthcare required for those exposed and subsequently fighting for life.

A friend of mine, sportin’ the same flavour of Autoimmune Disease as myself, had to take her mom to the hospital a couple weeks  ago. She was in the waiting room with a girl who was obviously dealing with a bad stomach virus. The girl was vomiting in a bag, but she was moving from chair to chair in the waiting room, touching everything, including her peuky face and recklessly spreading her virus around. Within days my Weggie friend was in serious trouble. She has had Rituxin infusion and is on a mellower maintenance chemo and has very little immune ability to fight new invaders. She called Health Link and was completely dismissed by the nurse on the line. “Big deal you have an autoimmune disease. It doesn’t make any difference on dealing with a virus. Just drink lots of fluids.” My friend was contemplating calling for an ambulance at one point because she listened to the ignorant nurse and didn’t see a doctor.

For those who are unaware of the risks, here’s what can happen when you’re exposed to a viral infection when you’re immune suppressed.

There is nothing we can do about a virus, other than take anti-virals if the risk is too high. We do need to advise our docs either way so that if things go south, they are ready to respond in a timely fashion. A viral infection can also open the door to a bacterial infection. These are often times trickier to deal with than viral infections given the circumstances. Also the complications that are usually listed as ‘rare’ with various diseases like Chickenpox, Measles, Mumps etc., are the ones we, the immune suppressed, have to worry about. Encephalitis, pneumonia, and death among others.

So instead of wasting valuable energy on shaming people who have made a decision based on research or their health condition we should try and keep the more vulnerable in our society safe. I for one not only can’t have any vaccines and the treatment I am on has destroyed any of the immunity I had developed through my life by getting various illnesses or through vaccines prior to getting sick. Also it was the H1N1 vaccine that was the trigger for the onset of my incurable, life threatening illness that completely changed my life for the worse. Health Canada owes me one.

“The True Measure of Any Society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members” – Ghandi

How do we stack up?

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!

Jasper Schedule of Events PJ Day 2014

Friday February 28, 2014

Don’t forget to Tweet or Facebook your PJ pics with #weonePJday to win a group prize worth over $3000. Winner will be drawn on March 1st.

(8:00am) Pancacke Breakfast
2nd annual PJ Day-Firefighters Pancake Breakfast sponsored by MPL – all money raised will go to MS Research. Old Fire Hall
(8:15am- 9:00am) Breakfast TV Live!
City TV’s Breakfast Television Live Morning Show Taping
Get your mug on TV and support the cause in your PJ’s.
PJ Urban Rail Jam and LIVE taping segments. Old Fire Hall
(10:00AM) PJ Fun Run with Tracy Garneau
Meet at 10:00am and start the run around 10:15. This is a short fun run so don’t chicken out.  Wild Mountain Jasper (612 Patricia Street)
(High Noon) PJ Yoga with Steph
Join Steph for a PJ Yoga Session at the River Stone Yoga Studio (606 Patricia Street)
(6:30pm – 9:00pm) PJ Street Party
Join us in your PJ’s by the Old Fire Hall and check out some Live PJ Music, some PJ Urban Rail Jammin’, a PJ Street Hockey game and other PJ fun.
(All Day) Help Wild Orchid Help Us
Wild Orchid  (616 Patricia St) has graciously offered to donate 10% of any sales (service or product) sold on Friday to Find The Common Thread Foundation. Also book on that day and be entered to win a fabulous salon & spa prize. So go get your hair did!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

(All Day) Marmot Basin Jasper
Wear your PJ’s skiing and possibly win one of many prizes from Mobil One.

2014 Jasper Schedule of Events PDF
March is Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month 2014 PDF

2014 Schedule of Events

WeOne PJ Day – The Third – February 28, 2014

Third Annual PJ Day to raise awareness, support, and funds for Autoimmune Disease as a whole, is right around the corner.

Put your PJ’s on (or just don’t get dressed in the morning). Take ‘Casual Day’ to a whole new level, while making a worthwhile stand for 20% of the population who research and medicine is leaving behind.

The issues here are endless, and you can peruse the blog to learn more (I won’t talk about it now) but we can make a difference. Together!!!!

See what we’ve done in the last couple years: .

Win a Marmot Basin Corporate Ski Pass or 20 Lift Tickets plus three rooms for two nights at Mountain Park Lodges and 10 Free Ski/Snowboard Rentals from Freewheel Cycle!

See how you can score some prizes by participating this year:

Let your imagination flow, and come up with the best PJ Day Event Ever. Share your PJ Fun using #weonePJday on FB or Twitter.

The only way any of the 140+ Diseases we face will see a cure in our lifetime is for us to stand together.

From the very rare to the very famous, these diseases pretend to be different diseases but they’re not. Don’t let them fool you, it’s their way of keeping us all from looking for a cure in the right place.

Autoimmune Disease has it’s inflamed little fingers into many pots

Today I read an article about Heart Disease and how there is a new line of thinking that links the process that causes most of the problems in patients with Autoimmune Disease to that of clogged arteries. Inflammation.

Read the article here:
If you feel that you need back-up on this line of thinking, here’s another article that isn’t as bold, but goes in the same direction and it’s from the American Heart Association:

Another important connection that nobody seems to talk about is mental health. I don’t understand why we can understand that inflammatory responses can happen anywhere in the body, but completely take the brain, a vital organ, out of that equation. Why do we completely dismiss the brain as being susceptible to an inflammatory response that can run rampant in any other part of the body and cause one of the 140+ autoimmune diseases and disorders. How many lives can we save from endless suffering by connecting autoimmune disease with mental health disorders? Here’s a book that can bring this concept a little closer to home and might save your life if you’re a patient like me who likes to push and challenge the robotic responses that we often get from the overworked medical professionals. This is the story of a patient who almost lost everything until she landed in the care of the RIGHT doctor…. Brain on Fire

We also know that Cancer is very dependent on a faulty immune system in order to progress, and now there is a new line of Cancer research that uses Immunotherapy to try and get answers that continue to elude the cure for Cancer research.

So if we go back to my earlier post looking at the stats and our current research trends ( you can see a serious crack in the system. The disease group where answers dwell for all the others (including ones that are not on the charts like AIDS, Infectious Disease, Transplantation) is the group of disease that has the least amount of attention and research funding.

I think this is wrong. So very, very wrong.

Back in my earlier post that I referred to above, my thought process leads me to a place where I wonder if the answer is just below the surface of a cache we haven’t yet searched.
I’ve been questioning myself lately in my stubborn and unyielding view that if we find the common thread we can find the answer/cure to ALL of the Autoimmune Diseases. I feel like a person with serious delusions of grandeur. Today, instead of checking my big dreams a bit like normal people would, I’ve taken it one step further. One giant, giant step further… what if we find the common thread and the answer leads us to not only find a cure for ALL AI Diseases, but also for Cancer, for Heart Disease, for AIDS, for all of the chronic illnesses.

Now wouldn’t that be something that would change things a bit or what?

We have gone for so long in our own little holes, our own silos, fighting for our own little diseases and not the whole, but the big picture is becoming more and more clear. It dictates that we work together: Be it within the disease group (autoimmune, cancer, mental health) but I believe it would be more positive by working in a multi-disciplinary, multi-disease way. That’s when we’ll get the answers we all so desperately work for in our own groups. Our answer lies in working together.


Only together will we see a difference. We’ve tried the ‘solo’ approach for decades and it’s gotten us nowhere really. Yeah we have some crazy drugs that keep us alive, but at a huge cost not only to the patient and their families, but also to our health care system and society at large.

So snap out of it people, we must let the ego go, and let’s do this. Let’s do it together. Let’s change the world for the better.

You in?

What can you do?

So you’re reading the PJ Day prep, and wondering if you can be up in Jasper to join the festivities. You don’t have to be. In fact, the idea is that people all around the world start their own PJ Day and that is what will give us the voice and power to change status quo. Then post pictures and events on Twitter or Facebook with the hash tag #weonePJday, let’s make this a trending hash tag on February 28, 2014. Remember….


Start your own PJ Day event. My biggest piece of advice here is take on something you already do, something you are so familiar with, you could do it with your eyes closed. If you teach yoga, do a PJ Yoga day, if you are a runner, organize a PJ Day run, if you are in drama, do a performance with PJ’s, do something that comes naturally and gather some friends, and just add PJ’s. If you’re a teacher, organize a PJ Day at your school. Start the discussion going. Send us your pics on Twitter or Facebook with the above hash tag.

Here’s another idea if you’re the fundraising type of person and want to take the PJ Day event one step further.

If you’re interested in this I imagine you already have a relationship with some foundation or charity group that is autoimmune disease related. If you’d like to make your event into a fund raiser, I’m certain there are many people who would be thrilled. Here’s a way to make this a win-win situation where absolutely everyone involved benefits. Do a PJ themed fundraiser, and give 92% of your earnings to your favorite charity, however we ask that when you give it to them you tell them that it’s money raised from a Find The Common Thread PJ Day Event. That way they’ll know that we are not interested in taking money away from them, but want to work together with all of them to get closer to finding the cure for all autoimmune disease. They will have a cash infusion that they weren’t counting on, they get to see that Find The Common Thread is only a win-win Foundation, and we can start establishing relationships that can lead us towards only positive change. The other 8% from your fundraising efforts can come to us (Find The Common Thread) in Canada or AARDA (American Autoimmune Related Disease Association – in the United States. That 8% will go towards research that is all encompassing and is looking for the commonalities and potential answers to ALL Autoimmune Disease rather than each individual one, an effort that has only yielded treatment to symptoms and disease progression thus far, no cures. If we really want to see a cure in our lifetimes we need to start approaching the subject from a different perspective.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

We need to look at autoimmune disease as the disease group that it is, not at each individual disease as a standalone. We need to look at the forest, not each individual tree.

I will create some posters and make them available here so that anyone can pick one up and print it for your event. Let’s change the game plan and maybe we will see some different results.

I will also be announcing a contest in the next week or so for all you creative types. Stay tuned.

She’s a comin’

Happy New Year to all…. may this be the year that FTCT hits the tipping point and all of the sudden everyone knows about autoimmune disease and has the will to do something to fix this endemic yet seemingly secret problem…

Pajama Day 2014 is coming, and it’s coming fast. Get your jammies shined up, grab a stick of Juicy Fruit and get ready to stir the pot. This year Pajama Day will take place on Friday, February 28, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it will flow over into the weekend as well.

If you want to talk about it, have any ideas or just want to share, send me an email at findthecommonthread at yahoo dot ca.

See you in our PJ’s.