Wishbone Day 2017

Wishbone Day 2017

Wishbone day is an international awareness day for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), a disorder commonly referred to as “brittle bone disease”. The international awareness day is observed on the 6th of May each year, and this year CLAN was lucky enough to participate in three Wishbone Day celebrations.

In Pakistan, Wishbone day was celebrated on the 5th of May at the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi. The celebration was exceptionally special for the NICH as it is the only hospital in the province of Sindh that provides complete treatment and management for OI patients. The event was a great opportunity for patients and family members to discuss their issues openly and learn about each other’s stories. Families were joined by the director of NICH, Prof. Jamal Raza, senior Paediatric Endocrinologist Dr. Mohsina Ibrahim, senior Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Nasir Salim Saddal and motivational speaker Arsal Fahim. Speakers highlighted ways to avoid and overcome complications patients and their families can face while living with OI. The event included a demonstration by Dr Nasir of how to construct a low-cost walker for use by children, assembled using materials that are affordably and locally available. The special day came to a conclusion with a cake cutting ceremony. 

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A day later celebrations continued in Sydney, Australia! Walker Rowsey and Kate Armstrong had a great time connecting with friends and members of the NSW OI Community at a park in Darling Harbour on Saturday 6 May. The weather was spectacularly warm and sunny, perfectly befitting the fantastic array of yellow clothing on display! Huge thanks must go to Wishbone Day Founder Jo Ragen for making us feel so welcome – and for introducing us to Wishy (the one and only Wishbone Day Mascot!).

Not to be outdone, Indonesia continued the festivities on Sunday 7 May. Wishbone Day celebrations in Jakarta were hosted by the Indonesian OI community, FOSTEO. The event received special attention this year, with events broadcast live on Selamat Pagi Indonesia (Good Morning Indonesia), a popular national television show.

Wishbone Day 2017 in Jakarta was strategically celebrated on Car Free Day, a weekly event in various Indonesian cities where the main roads are closed off for Sunday morning exercise. The event received attention from exercising individuals passing by, as well as the additional media coverage. The goal of Wishbone Day is to raise awareness for OI. FOSTEO members were able to achieve their goals through a series of event activities which included a Zumba dance, original poetry readings, and an open discussion about the difficulties of living with or supporting a patient with OI.

Like the event held in Pakistan two days earlier, the construction of a new and affordable child-size walker was demonstrated by Mr Jo Freeman. Jo is a young intern working with the Indonesian Paediatric Society and CLAN with support from the Australian government’s New Colombo Plan. The new walkers built by Jo were not only cost-effective and safe, but also a bright cheerful yellow, the colour of Wishbone Day. 

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Events like Wishbone day are essential in helping families experience a sense of community, and reassuring them they are not alone in their journey. Wishbone Day creates a positive and optomistic environment, where families can come together for support and updates on advancements in the treatment and management of OI. Wishbone Day 2017 was a success in Pakistan, Australia and Indonesia and we can’t wait to see next year’s celebration.

CLAN would once again like to thank Alumni Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LCJM Kalingga, UBAM Community Malaysia, PANASONIC, Bebelac, Prodia, Kalbe nutrisi, Frisian flag, Danone, Gracia, DFAT, the Indonesian Pediatric Society, NICH, Wishbone Day and the many families, friends, health professionals and supporters who participated in making Wishbone Day 2017 such a huge success for the international OI community. 

An article by CLAN intern Stephanie Carde