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Cause Awareness Blog | Support the Struggle | Personalized Cause

Our cause awareness blog provides knowledge and educational information to advocate for cancer, medical, social and psychological illnesses and/or causes. 

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World No Tobacco Day

Davis Orr

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Big butts are in, cig butts are out... not to mention nasty and toxic!

Hey, everyone! Guess what day it is today!!! It’s World No Tobacco Day! If it seems like I’m overly excited about World No Tobacco Day, I kinda am. Not sure why. Well, it could be because I had such a good time making that little image above. I posted it on Instagram and got a lot of love, so now I’m all pumped on this health observance. Sorry, or you’re welcome. World No Tobacco Day is extremely important, though, my newfound excitement aside. It deserves all the attention I can give it, because smoking is so terrible for you that I cant think an adjective that does justice to how horrible it is. So, today lets take a look at some of the effects of smoking. Spoiler alert: there are no positive effects of smoking. Literally not one. And, if you just thought to yourself, “except for looking cool,” self-destructive behaviors aren’t cool. Those sexy mysterious types with the cigarettes are actually just hiding the fact that they have nothing going for them. That’s some free dating advice. Again, sorry or you’re welcome.

Let’s get to it! Okay, so I know we’ve all basically been hearing that smoking is bad for you since we were in grade school. That’s probably because so many tobacco products are designed to look cool to people who aren’t old enough to buy them. Don’t kid yourselves: underage people make up a huge part of Big Tobacco’s marketing strategy. That’s why they come in cool flavors and colors. It’s easier to get people hooked on a product that’s actually fun to consume. It’s a gentle way of easing kids into a lifelong habit.

World No Tobacco Day is celebrated every May 31st. WNTD was created in 1987 by the World Health Organization with the purpose of having people abstain from tobacco products for 24 hours. It also serves to highlight how prevalent tobacco use is, while reminding people of the countless negative health consequences of smoking. Smoking related deaths total nearly 6 million worldwide, every single year. That’s one and a half times the population of Los Angeles. Every. Single. Year. Not to mention, 600,000 of those deaths are non-smokers who were exposed to second hand smoke. That’s a little less than the population of San Francisco. All of those people died from tobacco, and they didn’t even use the stuff. That’s insane.

One thing I want to make clear is that I am in no way intending to demonize smokers. Smokers face a great deal of judgment already. Many of them have tried to quit, and wish that they didn’t smoke. It is really hard to quit. Plain and simple. Just like any other substance the body gets addicted to, your brain starts to equate the drug, in this case tobacco/nicotine, to survival. The thought of not having the substance causes palpable anxiety. The withdrawal from it is able to be seen in different places all over the body. So, don’t look down on people who smoke, be compassionate. The place to focus your disgust is at the tobacco industry. You have to remember, they’ve been manipulating and using the public for centuries. It’s kinda like that saying, “don’t hate the player, hate the game.” Of course, this applies within reason. If you’re lighting up while you’re pregnant, or in your child’s presence, you need to get it together. Choosing to smoke is your decision, but subjecting other people without the ability to leave your environment is unacceptable. If your decisions affect other people’s health, you have a responsibility to protect theirs over damaging your own. And, sorry, but I don’t care if that offends you. You do not have the right to ruin any other human’s health, even if you made them. Health is precious, and for some it is impossible to achieve despite all their best efforts. So, you have the right to smoke, but not at other people’s expense. Moving on…

Smoking damages almost every single organ in the body. It increases your risk for cancer in lots of places, not just your lungs. Not to mention, it significantly increases your chances of developing heart disease, lung disease, blood vessel disease, and increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. 87 percent of lung cancer deaths are due to smoking. Smoking raises your blood pressure, causes plaque build up in the arteries, and in the blood, which gets deposited all over the body reducing circulation and increasing chances of a stroke or heart attack. Every single puff of a cigarette or cigar damages and scars your lungs. Over time, breathing can become very difficult, causing COPD, Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis and asthma.

Smoking is also linked to autoimmune diseases, which you may not know. The immune system is responsible for fighting off infections and viruses, or anything else that doesn’t belong. Because smoking interferes with the immune systems ability to function normally, smokers often have frequent respiratory infections. Not only are you more likely to have respiratory infections, you’re more likely to develop chronic autoimmune diseases as well (which, if you’ve read my last few blog entries, you know chronic illnesses totally suck). Smoking can double your chances of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis. Smoking can also cause Crohn’s disease. If you’re interested in learning more about either of those diseases, I’ve done posts about them. If you already have an autoimmune disease, smoking can cause flare-ups and worsen symptoms. There is also recent evidence to support the link between smoking and type 2 diabetes. People who smoke are somewhere between 30 and 40 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who do not smoke. That’s a significantly increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It also gets worse with every pack. The more you smoke, the higher the chances for developing type 2 diabetes becomes.

Smoking can also affect your eyes. There is an increased risk of blindness caused by macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage. Additionally, as if all of these things weren’t enough, smoking can affect your bones. Smoking decreases bone density leads to osteoporosis. Women are particularly at risk, with studies showing that smoking can cause a decrease in estrogen levels in women. Lower levels of estrogen can cause women to go through menopause early, increasing the risk for osteoporosis even further. Older women (seniors) who smoke experience more fractures. Women who smoked from an early age also have a higher rate of osteoporosis because the bone density is affected during the growth period. Quitting can reduce the risk for fractures and further bone density loss, but it takes a few years for it to take effect. On top of all that, smoking can significantly impact fertility in both men and women. So, if you’re trying to get pregnant, or plan to start a family soon, you and your partner should both quit smoking.

Menthol cigarettes and light cigarettes are equally as dangerous as regular cigarettes. There is a misconception about both of these types of cigarettes that they are a little less harmful than typical cigarettes. There have been numerous studies that show that there is no significant difference in how dangerous they are. Light cigarettes are actually no longer sold, or perhaps no longer labeled as such because it misled consumers into thinking they were making a safer choice. Menthol cigarettes have actually been shown, in a few studies, to be even more addictive than regular cigarettes, but more research is needed to understand this better. There is no such thing as a safe cigarette or cigar. Using a pipe, or hand rolling loose tobacco also carries these risks. It should also be noted that we are still unclear on the long-term health effects of vaping. Some settings on vapes can actually release more of certain chemicals than a regular cigarette. So, if you have quit smoking by switching to a vape, use caution, and don’t modify your device to burn at higher temperatures. Remember, you are still inhaling some amount of chemicals, and you are still putting nicotine into your body.

Thanks for reading, and happy World No Tobacco Day!

If you are a new reader, let me welcome you to our awareness blog! We are Personalized Cause, an awareness accessory company based in California. Personalized Cause is the number one source for custom awareness ribbons in the U.S. Our custom awareness ribbons are a product unique to our company. Custom awareness ribbons can be engraved with any name, date, phrase or message you want, on any color of your choice. We are the only company that offers custom low volume awareness ribbon pins (you can order only one, if you’d like). We also carry classic awareness ribbons, fabric awareness ribbons, and silicone wristbands. We’re your one stop awareness shop!

We started this awareness blog because we know the power of awareness. We have seen first hand how big of a difference one small awareness ribbon can make in raising awareness and educating the community. We wanted to use our website as a platform to raise awareness for as many illnesses and causes out there as we can. Our awareness blog usually follows the national and international awareness observances of each month, to educate our readers. I hope you’ll come back next week to learn about a new cause.

Smoking cessation is represented with a brown awareness ribbon. To order a brown awareness ribbon, visit:

https://www.personalizedcause.com/personalized-awareness-ribbons/brown-awareness-ribbon-pin-personalized?rq=smoking%20cessa

#worldnotobaccoday #abovetheinfluence #truthcampaign #smokingkills #stroke #heartdisease #cancer #dontsmoke #finishit #kickbutts #tobaccofree #awareness #awarenessribbons #cancerribbons #lungcancer #COPD

Memorial Day

Davis Orr

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

Today we honor those who embodied courage and patriotism and gave their lives to protect ours. Thank you for your service and the freedom your sacrifice affords us.

"Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened." -Billy Graham

To order a custom red, white and blue awareness ribbon, visit:

https://www.personalizedcause.com/personalized-awareness-ribbons/red-white-and-blue-awareness-ribbon-pin-personalized?rq=red%20white%20and%20blue

#memorialday #fallensoldiers #military #woundedwarriors #veterans #usa #americanflag #awareness #awarenessribbon #cancerribbon

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Davis Orr

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

A sincere thank you to everyone in the military, past and present. This weekend is about more than barbecue, it's about all the men and women who have served and died to afford us our freedoms. You are forever in our hearts.

"We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens..." - James A. Garfield.

To order a custom red, white and blue awareness ribbon in memorial of a soldier, visit:

https://www.personalizedcause.com/personalized-awareness-ribbons/red-white-and-blue-awareness-ribbon-pin-personalized?rq=red%20white%20and%20blue

#memorialday #weekendvibes #america #usa #fallensoldiers #woundedwarriors #veterans #military #usa #navy #army #marines #rangers #awareness #awarenessribbons #cancerribbons

Personalized Cause Pink Ribbons at the PGA

Davis Orr

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Our pink breast cancer fabric ribbons have gone pro!

Check out players at a recent PGA event rocking our pink ribbons. In addition to pink fabric awareness ribbons, we also carry more sophisticated pink ribbon pins that can be custom engraved, and pink KNOW MORE awareness wristbands.

At Personalized Cause, we like to use our awareness blog to promote awareness of the many causes out there, but this was exciting and we wanted to share.

You can check out our custom breast cancer awareness ribbons here:

https://www.personalizedcause.com/personalized-awareness-ribbons/pink-awareness-ribbon-pin-personalized?rq=pink

#pga #breastcancer #lisastrong #pinkribbon #cancer #cancersucks #theplayerschampionship #golf #awareness #awarenessribbons #cancerribbons

Invisible Illness Awareness

Davis Orr

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Here's a little Invisible Illnesses Awareness to kick off your weekend!

Oh my gosh, you guys… I’m excited for today’s awareness blog post. I’ve received quite a few emails since my post two weeks ago about chronic illness and my synopsis of Spoon Theory. To be completely open with you all, it was a really important blog entry for me to write as someone who falls into the #spoonie category. Like many of you, I have struggled to find the words to accurately explain what chronic illness feels like to friends and family. When I found Spoon Theory, it was like all the sudden everything clicked. It’s powerful to be able to feel so represented by another person’s experience, and I was so grateful to finally have something to forward to people that captured the essence of the daily struggle. Finding the words to explain my chronic illness was difficult until I found Spoon Theory, and finding the #spoonie community was a complete game-changer. When you’re deal with multiple diagnosis, and rare conditions or abnormal presentations of illnesses, it can start to feel like you’re some kind of one-in-a-million freak. One of the greatest comforts I have found in the #spoonie community is that I’m really not that special. That sounds like a negative thing, but it’s actually very liberating to feel like there’s a group of people out there who are all just like you. You’re not the only weirdo, there’s actually a whole bunch of you. It makes the world suddenly less lonely, your conditions less scary, and it allows us to feel understood without explanation, finally. So, today’s awareness blog entry is going to expand on the chronic illness topic, because I see that it has connected with a lot of you.

Today we’re gonna talk about invisible illnesses/invisible disabilities. A huge chunk of the chronic illness community is suffering from an invisible illness or invisible disability. Invisible illness can sometimes be more difficult to deal with socially, because you get a lot of people who don’t take you seriously since, “you don’t look sick.” Not “looking sick” can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s nice that you can pass as a healthy person. It gives you a certain sense of freedom to be able to choose with whom you share your story, because others will not recognize that you are sick. There’s kind of a luxury to being able to go back and forth between the realm of the healthy and the realm of the chronically ill. It’s kind of like being a spy. You have a double life. On the other hand, it can make things much more difficult. In my own experience, I have had to convince people that I was actually sick. People assume that you are either weak or exaggerating since there are no physical signs that you are suffering. Another really fun assumption that people make about you is that you’re not experiencing fatigue, you’re just lazy. Even doctors, who should know better, sometimes don’t believe you. It’s pretty sucky to have to prove that you’re a member of a club that you don’t want to belong to in the first place (chronic illness/invisible illness being the club).

I’ll quickly share a personal story, which I don’t normally do, but it illustrates the issue. A couple months after I got my license, I decided to drive down to the coffee shop with my brother. I had been very sick and hospitalized off and on for months before that. Going to the coffee shop was a big outing for me at the time, sadly. I had a handicapped placard, which I needed. When I got there, I parked in a handicapped spot. There were a couple other handicapped spots open, but the regular spots were all full. When my brother and I got out of the car, a group of older people (seniors) started loudly talking to each other about me, essentially calling me a disrespectful teenage dirtbag (I was an honor roll kid, not a thug). As we got closer to them, one of the women started shaking her head at me in disgust, and said, “You know you can get a ticket for that, I should call the police.” I was completely frozen. I was so shocked that this group of adults was shaming me, and I didn’t know how to react. I was so full or rage and scared at the same time. What if the police came and didn’t believe me either? My brother looked at the woman and said, “She needs to park there.” I was relieved he said something because I didn’t know what to say. The woman then said, “She sure doesn’t look sick,” to which I replied, “thank you,” and walked inside. I could see that my response made her recognize that she had been wrong. The group quickly left before we came back out. This may not sound like that big of a deal, but there have been hundreds of situations like this in my life. Let me tell you, over time it fills you with anger and anxiety, and makes you defensive by default. It sucks to have to explain yourself to strangers that don’t deserve to know anything about you. It sucks to be judged by people who assume you’re a crappy person when you encounter them, while just trying to live your life. This is just one example of a scenario that people with invisible disabilities face constantly. It’s why this awareness blog is so important to me.

Enough about me, let’s get clinical. Invisible disabilities are usually caused by chronic illnesses. Having an invisible disability means that your normal daily activities are significantly impaired. Wanna hear a surprising statistic? Something like 96% of people living with a chronic illness do not have any outward signs that indicate that they are sick. That’s a gigantic number of people who are living with invisible illnesses. About 10% of people with a chronic illness are considered to be disabled from it. Invisible illness can be defined as a mental, physical, or neurological condition that impairs the person’s ability to move, affects their senses, or inhibits their ability to perform daily activities, that is not readily apparent to an onlooker. Having an invisible disability does not necessarily make the person disabled. That is an important distinction because sometimes people with invisible disabilities can often still work, maybe part time, or with accommodations. Sometimes the disability will improve and sometimes its severity will wax and wane. Each person’s unique invisible disability will affect them differently. So, just because you know one person with MS who was able to go back to work, doesn’t mean another person with MS struggling with an invisible disability will be able to. Many people with invisible disabilities are still active, and maintain involvement with their family and friends, even hobbies or sports.

Invisible disability symptoms can be chronic pain, chronic fatigue, cognitive impairments, or cognitive dysfunction, weakness or dizziness, brain injuries, mental health disorders, learning disabilities, hearing or visual impairment, and the list goes on. One of the major struggles for people with invisible disabilities is that people tend to have higher expectations of them because they cannot see, or forget that the disability exists. As a result, there are often issues with miscommunications, misconceptions, and misunderstandings. Never judge a person by what they look like. A person may look like they are unable to do something, when they are actually completely capable of it. Likewise, a person who may look capable of something may not be. Disability does not depend on outward appearance. Remember that.

Thanks for reading! I hope this unusually personal awareness blog entry helped to shed light on what it can be like for people living with invisible illnesses or invisible disabilities. I hope that some of you feel like I captured an important aspect of life with chronic illness well, and accurately. Feel free to send me an email about it. =)

See you all next week!

If you’re a first time reader, let me take a minute to tell you a little bit about ourselves and why we started this awareness blog. We are Personalized Cause, an awareness accessory company specializing in custom awareness ribbons. Custom awareness ribbons are a unique product that allow our customers to personalize their awareness ribbons with any name, date or message they want. Custom awareness ribbons come in all colors, and are engraved with your choice of personalization. Custom awareness ribbons are a wonderful way to express support when you may not know what to say. Awareness ribbons are a powerful symbol of hope and inspiration to others, as well as the person wearing it.

At Personalized Cause, we believe in the power of awareness. We have seen how one custom awareness ribbon can impact an entire community, and create a culture of compassion and understanding. Raising awareness is our mission. Only through raising awareness do we make progress in funding, research, and cures. We want to empower you, through our awareness products, to become an advocate for yourself or others. We use our awareness blog as a way to educate people about health issues that affect millions of people, in hopes that it may help them to recognize symptoms and prevent illness. We hope you’ll come back next week for our next awareness blog entry.

Invisible illness is represented by a peach awareness ribbon. To order a custom peach awareness ribbon, visit:

https://www.personalizedcause.com/personalized-awareness-ribbons/peach-awareness-ribbon-pin-personalized?rq=invisible%20

#invisibledisability #chronicillness #chronicpain #chronicfatigue #spoonie #spoonielife #invisibleillness #awareness #awarenessribbon #awarenessribbons #cancerribbons