April is Adrenal Disease Awareness Month...And almost time to start baking and delivering pink cupcakes to your local fire station!
What is Adrenal Insufficiency? Adrenal insufficiency is a life-threatening condition caused by more than sixty different, and often, rare diseases including Addison's Disease, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, adrenal tumors, pituitary tumors, and adrenoleukodystrophy. Adrenal insufficiency can also be secondary, caused by sudden cessation of high-dose steroids used to treat asthma, COPD, and cancer. It is estimated that as many as 6 million people in the US are undiagnosed.
Why pink cupcakes? Pink is in memory of Miss Annalee, who loved pink. The cupcakes are treats for the firemen and paramedics to eat. If we could make pink steaks, I imagine we'd deliver them instead. But, yes, Annie liked cupcakes, too.
Why do we take pink cupcakes to fire stations? People with adrenal insufficiency frequently experience adrenal crises in response to illness, stress or trauma. An adrenal crisis is a life-threatening event, often necessitating a 911 call, as well as an emergency injection of Solu-Cortef, or liquid hydrocortisone. Firefighters and EMTs are often the first on the scene.
Our big, audacious goal at Adrenal Insufficiency United is adoption of adrenal crisis protocols (rules & regs) for all first responders across the country. As of today, there are ten states that have adopted protocols, including Alabama, Arizona (coming soon!), Maine, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wyoming, (in draft form), and some counties in Texas and Tennessee. In addition, bills are currently being discussed in both Oregon and Washington.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
- Download 10 Easy Steps to doing Cupcakes for Annie for an overview of what to do.
- Bake (or buy) a dozen pink cupcakes (click here for ideas on enlisting your local bakeries to donate cupcakes.)
- Deliver them to your local fire station and thank them for all their work!
- Print this poster and this adrenal crisis pathway describing adrenal insufficiency and adrenal crisis, and the necessity of training and equipping EMS providers to identify and treat it.
- Send your awesome pictures of your fire station visit to me, and I can post them to our Cupcakes for Annie Facebook page.
- For extra credit, call your local news station and ask if they would be willing to share your story.