World Autoimmune Arthritis Day (WAAD) was established in 2012 by the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM), now also known as the International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis, the first 501c3 nonprofit created exclusively to benefit those with Autoimmune Arthritis diseases. Part of their mission, in addition to establishing global awareness in differentiating arthritis types and to develop wellness education that will promote earlier detection, referrals, diagnosis, and treatment, is to unite all resources worldwide in order to provide this historically under served community with a library of information they otherwise would need to search out to access. World Autoimmune Arthritis Day was created to provide this platform to the community as well as to bring global awareness to these diseases in an attempt to differentiate arthritis types and thus promote education and understanding that may result in more research dollars for this community.
May 20th was selected because in 2012 this day marked the first solar eclipse of the century. An 'eclipse' occurs when the moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun. IAAM felt this was symbolic of the decades of misunderstanding of Autoimmune Arthritis diseases. Therefore, as the 47 continuous hours of WAAD 2012 began (May 19th at 6am ET/USA) so did the eclipse. At the end of the event (May 21st at 5am ET/USA) the sun would shine again but would shine a new light on our community.
World Autoimmune Arthritis Day is designed to run virtually, online, so that resources from around the globe can be accessible to all people as well as to allow those with disabilities to 'attend' from the comfort of their homes or hospital beds. It is celebrated for the duration of May 20th in every time zone in the world, thus uniting all people for 47 hours, or eliminating barriers of time in order to unite as one.
This past WAAD, or WAAD13, united over 36 nonprofits from around the world, collected 100's of resources for the "best of the best" rheumatologists, support groups, and bloggers, as well as featured guest presenters and live chat sessions from several countries, organizations, and advocacy circles.
View WAAD13 Stats