As has become our tradition, every spring/summer, my friends and I organize a lemonade stand fundraiser in support of narcolepsy and cataplexy. As I’ve blogged about extensively, narcolepsy and cataplexy are terribly misunderstood, life-altering, severely debilitating chronic neurological disorders. It has been said that narcoleptics experience a quality of life that is as poor or worse than patients with Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, yet far less is known about narcolepsy and cataplexy. It is also a tremendously under-funded disorder, likely, or precisely because, narcolepsy is so misunderstood. The Annual #WakeUpDylan Lemonade Stand Fundraiser was created to raise much-needed awareness and funding for narcolepsy and cataplexy.
Why Raising Awareness is so Important
Sleep is one of the most misunderstood and often-overlooked pillars of health, and this is particularly true when it comes to narcolepsy and cataplexy. According to a 2010 article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, failure rates for properly diagnosing narcolepsy are extremely high among a variety of physicians. Neurologists misdiagnose narcoleptics 45% of the time, general practitioners 78.1% of the time and paediatricians almost 100% of the time. It takes an average of 20 years to properly diagnose narcolepsy. TWENTY YEARS! This is not okay.
Sleep is a basic biological requirement. We literally cannot survive without it, much like we cannot survive without food or water, yet too often we treat it as a luxury or those who “over-indulge” as lazy. By raising awareness, we are waking up the world to the importance and power of sleep.
The Lemonade Stand
The Annual #WakeUpDylan Lemonade Stand Fundraiser has become a really fun, highly-anticipated, community event that gets bigger and better every year. Our first year, we raised $2,000. Last year we raised just over $5,000, and this year we have our hopes set high to try and raise $8,000!
Highlights from last year’s 2nd Annual #WakeUpDylan Lemonade Stand
You are Cordially Invited
This year’s event will be taking place on June 24, 2018 from 2pm to 4pm at Bakersfield Public School Park at 75 Mistysugar Trail in Thornhill, ON. You are all cordially invited to attend!
There will be lots of lemonade at the #WakeUpDylan Lemonade Stand Fundraiser (pink lemonade is always the crowd fave), lots of sweet treats (including the kiddie coveted candy kabobs), custom hand-made bracelets, and a fantastic promotional draw. This year we’ve cranked the festivities up a notch (if you’re a spinal tap fan – all the way to 11) – the prizes for our promotional draw are unbelievable (I’m selfishly hoping to win them all), we will be making fresh cotton-candy on site AND, for the first time ever, BOUNCE ENTERTAINMENT will be DJing the event!!
Every single penny we raise will be donated to the Sleep Disorders Priority Fund at SickKids Hospital – a special fund earmarked specifically for narcolepsy research within the hospital.
Why I’m Begging you to Help
Dylan isn’t Dylan anymore. He’s Dylan with Narcolepsy (“DWN”) now. Dylan was sweet, happy, good-natured, friendly and always smiling. DWN is often grumpy, irrational, impatient and exhausted. Dylan was very social and loved to play with his friends but DWN is simply too tired to play. Naps are his new playdate. Dylan had a heart of gold that he wore on his sleeve. DWN has a heart of gold, secretly tucked in beneath layers of exhaustion and sleep deprivation. I love DWN, but I want Dylan back.
Be There or Be Square
We hope to see you all at the 3rd Annual #WakeUpDylan Lemonade Stand Fundraiser in support of Narcolepsy and Cataplexy! If you cannot attend on June 24th, please consider making a donation on our SickKids Fundraising page.