August Is National Psoriasis Awareness Month!!

pso

How much do you know about psoriasis?  How many people in the U.S. have it?  What causes psoriasis?  How is it treated?  What are the emotional impacts of psoriasis?  How many people do you know with psoriasis?

It typically affects the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp, though it can appear on any location. Some people report that psoriasis is itchy, burns and stings. Psoriasis is associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.

While scientists do not know what exactly causes psoriasis, we do know that the immune system and genetics play major roles in its development. Usually, something triggers psoriasis to flare. The skin cells in people with psoriasis grow at an abnormally fast rate, which causes the buildup of psoriasis lesions.

Men and women develop psoriasis at equal rates. Psoriasis also occurs in all racial groups, but at varying rates. About 1.3 percent of African-Americans have psoriasis, compared to 2.5 percent of Caucasians. Psoriasis often develops between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can develop at any age. About 10 to 15 percent of those with psoriasis get it before age 10. Some infants have psoriasis, although this is considered rare. Psoriasis is not contagious. It is not something you can “catch” or that others can catch from you. Psoriasis lesions are not infectious & there are no special blood tests or tools to diagnose psoriasis.

Here’s an excerpt from the National Psoriasis Foundation website describing Psoriasis Awareness Month:

About Psoriasis Awareness Month

Each August, the National Psoriasis Foundation sponsors Psoriasis Awareness Month to raise awareness, encourage research and advocate for better care for people with psoriasis.

Psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the U.S., affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals resulting in painful red, scaly patches on the skin that bleed and itch. Psoriasis has been linked to other serious conditions, including psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Psoriasis isn’t contagious, but awareness is.

Learn more about psoriasis the Everyday Health Psoriasis Center, which includes great resources, stories, and information.  I also plan to blog tweet through the month on different topics related to psoriasis.  Follow along this month and spread awareness about psoriasis!

Please visit the Psoriasis website for more information!

TREASURES WITHIN

Today’s Scripture
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels…”
(2 Corinthians 4:7, NKJV)
Today’s Word
You have treasures deep inside of you! As a believer in Jesus, the greatest treasure of all is within you—the Spirit of God. You carry the most valuable treasure in the universe inside of you! He has also deposited many other treasures on the inside of you as well. You may not even see these treasures yet, but God has given you gifts and abilities that are tied to your purpose. He has fully equipped you to succeed in life.
 
What do you need today to move forward? What do you need to break out of your comfort zone? It’s on the inside of you. Proverbs says that understanding is like a well within and the wise person draws it out.
 
Today, draw out those treasures inside of you by speaking words of faith. Connect to the heart of Almighty God. Stir up the gift inside of you by praying in the Spirit and thanking Him in worship. As you seek the Lord and submit yourself to His leading, you will discover the great treasures within!
 
A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You for choosing to live inside of me. Show me the treasures You have deposited within me so that I can fulfill Your purpose for me all the days of my life. I love You and bless You today in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
trasure
 
— Joel & Victoria Osteen

The Special Olympics Are Here!!

“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

special needs

The 2015 Special Olympics World Games is taking place this week in Los Angeles, CA. Approximately 7,000 athletes will be participating in the World Games, representing over 170 nations around the world. There will be close to half a million people watching in person and many millions watching around the world on television. ESPN is the channel of choice for these world games.

I had the unforgettable pleasure of being a part of the opening ceremony last weekend. Countries were represented from Burkina Faso to U.S. Samoa & from American Samoa to Mauritius. There were countries that sent as few as 12 delegates to over 250 delegates. Every nation represented wore their traditional garb and waved to the crowd as their country was called. All week, these Olympians will be competing in games such as volleyball, badminton, swimming, power lifting and even a triathlon at different venues throughout Los Angeles.

special needs 2

There were speeches from Tim Shriver & Maria Shriver who both spoke about their mother’s legacy and reason for starting the Special Olympics. Oscar De La Hoya & Eva Longoria also spoke and there were performances by Avril Lavigne and Spanish sensation J Balvin. Stevie Wonder wowed the crowd and the evening was topped off a speech from the First Lady of the United States of America, Mrs. Michelle Obama. She encouraged everyone to reach for their  dreams no matter what & that we all should carry a sense of pride in who we are no matter what our difficulties may be. I didn’t get the opportunity to meet her, but I was able to see her in person up close for the first time. Then I was a part of the closing song – ‘Reach Up L.A.!’ written by Siedah Garrett. There were over 100 people on the stage pumping up the crowd with choreographed moves & flags flying everywhere. It was a night to remember! I had a great time & felt privileged to be part of such an amazing event.

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics World Games is the only of its kind. There are over 200,000,000 people around the world that suffer from intellectual disabilities. This includes people who have Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and even Autism. Visit http://LA2015.org for more information.

special needs 3