2017 PJ Day Events

This year we’re going to keep it simple.

Wear your PJ’s all day, take photos, share the photos and start the conversation going. Without the awareness, we lack the will, without the will we lack the funding, without the funding we lack a cure, without a cure we have too much pain, death, and high costs to families and our society. PJ Day raises awareness for autoimmune disease one PJ at a time. Feel free to start your own PJ Day event and raise the awareness bar from your corner of the world.

screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-10-57-03-am

Here’s another poster if you would like to print one out and share it.
pj-day-2017

At 5:30 join fellow PJ clad Jasperites and visitors for a collective PJ march downtown Jasper. We will meet at the Info Centre and start marching down Connaught Drive, turn back towards the centre of town at A&W down Patricia, finishing off at the Jasper Elementary School.

Go out for dinner and drinks in your PJ’s and have the most unique Happy Hour of the year.


If you are hosting additional PJ Day Events, add them below in our comments section. 

Please be sure to include the following:

  • event name
  • event location
  • event start time
  • event cost, if any
  • brief description of event

PJ’s in 2016

 

In 2016, we had our last PJ Days organized by Find the Common Thread Foundation. It wasn’t going to be the last, but as the month went along, the realization came that we have done as much as we can do from our end toward our lofty goal.

It started off on February 27, 2016 and ended off on March 31, 2016. An entire month (Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month in the US) and inspired by the writings of Dr. Noel Rose, and the efforts of AARDA (American Autoimmune Related Disease Association.)

On February 27, 2016, Jasper Junior Olympics’ Dream Team (the little guys) raced in their PJ’s. Jasper Junior Olympics is the longest standing and largest participant ski race in North America with over 400 skiers racing the weekend.

The Dream Teamers raced in PJ’s and the organizers of the race donated $1 for every skier in the ENTIRE race – a surprise beyond belief. We were just thrilled to have them participate in PJ’s and help us with our awareness efforts.
February 29, was the official PJ Day in Jasper with our annual Jasper Volunteer Fire Brigade Pancake Breakfast, followed by a PJ Parade through town at lunch time. The turnout wasn’t near as big as last year’s over 700 people, but the spirit was as high as ever with those who made it out.

IMG_2018People throughout town did their own PJ events – PJ Yoga, PJ runs, PJ breakfasts, PJ fitness classes, PJ dinners, and more in the coming days that raised money and more important, raised awareness for this disease that kills more people than any other, yet for various political and economic reasons isn’t counted and not part of the official stats.

The true cost of autoimmune disease is absolutely staggering and one day in the future we will all be a little ashamed for letting this slide by the way it has thus far. All except the folks in Jasper who have gone above and beyond to do their part in righting a wrong.

 

IMG_2084The weekend of March 12 and 13 saw a gathering of Healers using various complimentary modalities and volunteering their services to not only raise the awareness bar but also give people supplementary healing techniques to aid in the healing process for a disease that according to the western medical paradigm, has no cure. It’s hard to heal your life when you’re told by your doctors that there is no cure.

This was a powerful weekend, and I had hoped that it would spill over into something bigger. My dream this year was that with the money we raised we could make Jasper the premier healing destination on the planet. I still think this is a very viable option, however I am not going to be part of this dream and will let it manifest on its own. I have a person in mind that would make this dream a reality, but I will let that person move at their own pace, and if it is meant to be then it will be.

JAG and PJsOn March 18, Jasper Artists Guild (JAG) put on a great show that was inspired by the theme of healing. The Healing Nature of Art was a quaint opening with great food and bevies supplied by The Downstream Bar and beautiful, thought inspiring, healing art donning the walls of the cozy little gallery. We are fortunate to live in this magical place with these magical people we call our neighbours and friends.

On Sunday March 20, 2016 we had a fantastic PJ moment at Jasper’s ski area Marmot Basin. My second family. People who have supported our efforts from day one. I don’t mean just day one of PJ Days, but day one of my personal journey with this disease. I am forever grateful for all they have done for me, my family and our foundation’s efforts through the last six years. We had a group PJ ski at Marmot Basin that felt as wonderful as the previous year’s PJ Parade in the town of Jasper. The backdrop of this PJ event was unsurpassed, and the spirit of the crowd was amazing.

 

IMG_2167The final event of the month, March 31, was a PJ Onesie party put on by the Jasper Legion. I couldn’t personally attend as I had a doctor’s appointment to deal with the new flare of my disease which is the reason that I am personally pulling out of this endeavour and the foundation. I am back with the warriors, fighting for a normal life. Fighting against a beast that has taken too many friends’ lives, and this is a fight that will require all of my efforts as there are new symptoms that are deadly serious, along, of course, with the treatment protocol (which is often the mortality factor after diagnosis – and this is where the stats fail the autoimmune disease patient.)

Jasper gets it. As far as I’m concerned, this is the most educated group of people when it comes to the issues of Autoimmune Disease. More so than even collectives of patients in some cases. That’s because Jasper is a magical place full of magical people who are full of compassion, empathy, curiosity and a will to do something right for the right reasons.

I am forever grateful to everyone who has helped out over the last five years. I have no words to express the gratitude to my sister, who despite trepidation and a strong aversion to go into her own history of Psoriatic Arthritis has stood behind me no matter what. Her amazing family who have put blood, sweat and tears (embarrassed tears) to help support my crazy visions over the last five years. I am eternally grateful to my own immediate family, my unwaveringly supportive husband, my inspiring daughter, my strong, solid parents, and of course my extended family, all of whom have been there through thick and thin. I am grateful to friends and neighbours and even strangers who took up the cause across Canada, the US, Australia, Mexico, Europe and who over the last five years have done so much on PJ Days to make them special and memorable and something that is meaningful and lasts in the psyche of our town and social consciousness here and abroad.


I am truly blessed, and despite the hard times, I can say with total sincerity that this disease has brought out so much more good than bad, and it has been a journey of discovery and awakening unlike any I could have dreamed up on my own.

It is now in your hands. If it is meant to grow, it will grow because of you. If not, then we certainly gave it the old college try, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I leave you with this video I posted on Facebook before the month started… I was a little blown away by the number of views it got, but it is now gone as I have deleted my Facebook account – part of Letting Go of the stuff that isn’t good for me. I have been on steroids since the end of March and already look much different than I do in this video. Love the stuff 😉

No pred
March 2, 2016
About a month on 50mg of pred
May 10, 2016

Thanks for being so awesome everyone. May the Power (not Force) be with you.

With best wishes and much much Love,

Marta Rode
Founder of Find the Common Thread Foundation (now retired)

 

Thank you once again Jasper!

I keep telling my daughter to stop using exclamation marks and reserve them for when it really matters. In this case it really matters. Exclamation mark!!!

We just had the best PJ Day yet, and it couldn’t have happened without the hundreds of volunteer hours and dozens of donations in cash, services, and product. Jasper is the most amazing community I have ever seen, and I am lucky to be a part of it. Together we raised the bar of awareness yet another notch, but we also raised some money toward our efforts to be supportive of people and families affected by this disease in real time.

We can’t undo the undoable, but we can be there as a shoulder to lean on, an empathetic ear, and a support net for a family like yours and mine, going through the unfathomable. Jasper is unmatched in it’s power to make things fantastic. Go big or go home, takes on a whole new meaning in the little town in the middle of the giants of rock surrounding us. Together we are a powerhouse.

You see I had written a whole swath of thank you’s on this page and hadn’t saved them when my computer crashed. It took me hours and I lost it all. Blaming it on chemo brain for not saving. I then bought some thank you cards to write them out and hand deliver them, and that didn’t materialize. I at least managed a thank you letter in The Fitzhugh, but I was so grateful by the outpouring of support that I felt I needed to do more, and with each passing day, I felt guiltier and guiltier for not having done it, until writing the thank you’s became an unbearable idea because each thank you would have to include a ‘sorry it’s taken me this long to do it’ addition to the card.

So thank you everyone!!!!!!

When I heard this yesterday on ‘q’ – it made me bite the bullet and at least write an apology for being such a goofball.  http://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/schedule-for-monday-may-4-2015-1.3059765/should-every-day-be-email-debt-forgiveness-day-1.3059785 Pictures will be posted soon.

10 Reasons You Should Wear Your PJ’s All Day on February 27, 2015

Fourth Annual PJ Day
To Raise Awareness for Autoimmune Disease

This year, on Friday, February 27, you will have another opportunity to make a stand, to show support with this act of nonviolent fashion disobedience, to be part of the front lines of change, to help someone who might feel they have nobody in their corner, to be part of the fourth annual PJ Day to raise awareness for Autoimmune Disease. Here are ten reasons to give your boss when they challenge your fashion choice at work.

  1. Parks Canada, JasperNonviolent Fashion Disobedience

    Because when you deviate from the norm, people notice. They ask questions. They become engaged, and curious. We can start the conversation in the comfort of our most healing clothes, and empathy. If it’s cold out, just throw them over your outdoor clothes, that’s what we do when we go PJ skiing, or all over the place like last year when it was -32C .

  2. Beatufiul PrinnsTo Show Support
    For the people who are held captive in their pajamas by one of the 140+ Autoimmune Diseases and Disorders. For weeks. Months. Years. Living in them between remissions. Every age group is susceptible.
    There is no cure.

  3. BoardFor Someone You Know
    1 in 5 people are affected and 3 out of 4 of those are female. Someone you know and maybe love, is dealing with symptoms ranging from unpleasant to life threatening due to AI disease, right now. Guaranteed.

     

  4. First Year Respiratory Therapy Students, NAIT, EdmontonMake A Stand

    For those who can barely stand in the face of a devastating disease. People whose previously healthy lifestyles are left in the dust, replaced by operating rooms, chemotherapy, infusions, immune suppression, and a complete alteration of life. Stand with them as they fight their way back.

  5. Surbiton Girls from UK Supporting our Cause. How 'bout you?Change status quo

    Autoimmune Disease comes with a heavy cost. To lives, to communities, to the workforce, to healthcare and society at large. We can start the cogs of change by raising awareness. Step out of your comfort zone for a good cause. With baby steps we can get there.

  6. Jasper the bear in JammiesGive a Hand
    All money raised on February 27, 2015, will go to the Macmahon family of Jasper who are currently in the midst of an autoimmune disease battle of epic proportions.

  7. The girls and guy, one seriously awesome guy, who put it all out there.Show the powers that be

    If you or someone you know is affected by autoimmune disease (as is surely the case) and you wear your PJ’s in a show of nonviolent fashion disobedience, everyone will see symbolically, the cost this disease has to our society. One in five people (and their families, friends, bosses, neighbours, colleagues…we’re all affected)

  8. marmot awesomeWe are One
    We have been kept apart for too long. We are one disease, different manifestation. Your MS, my dad’s Lupus, my Vasculitis, my sister’s Psoriatic Arthritis, they’re all autoimmune disease, the same disease etiology. We are rare in our disease manifestation but together we are a fifth of the population. Shouldn’t we have a say?

  9. Mrs Curries Grade 7Together we can do it
    Together. If we want to see something happen in our lifetime. Time to look at the forest and stop focusing on each tree. By finding the common thread between the different autoimmune diseases we might find a cure for all autoimmune disease.

  10. Hair on Earth JasperAutoimmune Disease be gone
    Find a cure for autoimmune disease, all of us are disease free… MS, RA, Lupus, Vasculitis, Colitis, Celiac and over a 100 more (mostly rare diseases,) gone. 20% of the population back from the doctor’s office and the hospital visits, working, living happy lives with happy families. Future generations only knowing about autoimmune disease from what they read in history books. Let’s make this dream a reality.

When you are done wearing your PJ’s on Friday, feel free to wear them all weekend if you want to keep the drive alive. Saturday, February 28, is International Rare Disease Day (many of the Autoimmune Diseases on the list are also Rare Diseases by definition.) Sunday March 1st is the first day of Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month. Keep spreading the word. For you. For your kids. For the ones you love. For all of us.

Another year, another PJ Day

For the fourth year in a row, we will once again stand in solidarity with those whose voice, strength, vitality, and life as they knew it, was muffled (sometimes permanently) by one of the 100+ Autoimmune Diseases.

  • 1 in 5 people are affected.
  • 3 out 4 of those are female.
  • There is no cure.
  • Often toxic treatment only adresses symptoms.

This year PJ Day is becoming PJ Days.
Get your PJ’s ready for

Saturday, February 28, 2015
– Rare Disease Day
&
Sunday, March 01, 2015
– First day of Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month.

(Jasper schedule of events to follow.)

Wear your PJ’s all day. Participate in this act of ‘nonviolent fashion disobedience’ and make a powerful statement. Take it one step further and create a PJ Day event. Do something you’re comfortable or good at, and just do it in your PJ’s. Have a party, organize a run with friends, go out dancing in PJ’s, cross country ski in your PJ’s, have a PJ downhill ski race, have a soccer match, a golf game, or roller derby clad in PJ’s …. it’s as limited as your imagination.

Stand up for the MILLIONS who can’t stand up on their own. Their own well intentioned but  confused immune system, mistakingly waging war on them from the inside, taking out organs, systems and more often than most realize, lives.

This year our friends at AARDA (American Autoimmune Related Disease Association) have come up with an idea inspired by the last three years of PJ Days in Jasper. The BEST little community in North America. Truly. Here’s what Kimberly and the AARDA crew have started. Kudos, and let’s keep that ball rolling.

#PJdancechallenge

This is such a great opportunity to raise awareness, some money, and take PJ Day and Autoimmune Disease awareness, one giant step forward in the consciousness of our human tribe, while bringing out the kid in us all. You know, that kid  that lives under the sometimes very broken body we call home. So put on your PJ’s and start a fire. A fire of inspiration, support, understanding and empathy.

Practice for performance, Jasper
Practice for performance, Jasper

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.

Contributors:

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.

Entertainment:

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

Board
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!

Strange Sounds

I’m hearing them too, but I know what they are in my case. The rumbling and vibrations of a whole lot of people getting behind a cause. I can’t speak for what’s happening in other places as I give up the idea completely to others of like minds that  agree with this project to do things in their own back yards. I know some who are, but I can’t speak to the details of their events, but I can certainly speak for what’s happening here. We are ever closer to our PJ Fashion Show. We will have dancers and models, it’ll be about a 45 minute show. I’m so excited to see it rolling like a giant snowball coming down the mountain and getting bigger and less stopable with each revolution. We will also have a PJ run on the 29th and it’ll be led by a world class athlete (I will disclose the secret identity when things get more concrete). We’re also working on a PJ Dance/Party – details to follow, and a PJ ski race – details to follow. I’m also working on a lot more things that can really make an impact and make our town truly the epicenter of this worldwide movement. I challenge you all to beat me. Make your town stand out – and if a bunch of us do that, the map can look like one of those early ‘Contagion’ viral maps. That’s the only way this will grab the attention of those who can propel our cause into hyperdrive.

It will be an entire day in your PJ’s – just like we autoimmunies have to spend (involuntarily) days on end. Except on our PJ day we’ll have some fun.

Because of this I have been talking to many people with a multitude of autoimmune diseases and am completely blown away at the similarities in our experiences. Pre diagnosis, getting the medical profession to acknowledge our symptoms, having to suck it up because we look relatively normal on the outside while feeling like crapola on the inside, even having to convince some doctors post diagnosis that you’re in danger if they remain inactive. It’s crazy. More and more I realize that AI is a bit of a mystery to the regular doctor/nurse/healthcare worker. We need to let the world know A) how many of us there are B) that our disease research is way underfunded proportionately speaking C) That it’s time to take this disease group seriously and start looking for a common thread which will if found open up billions of dollars in our medical systems to treat other diseases.

Let’s make PJ Day Viral. Do something and take pictures and video and send them this way. Let’s show the world that we’re not going to sit in our rooms quietly in our PJ’s anymore, we’re here to fight for ourselves…. just like we have to do so often with the medical profession. Gentle nudgy reminders that we’re here.