C Diff Foundation and C diff Survivors Alliance Network Winter 2017 Bulletin

 

Greetings from the main office of the C Diff Foundation and the C diff Survivors Alliance Network located in New Port Richey, Florida.  As we close 2017 we mark the 5th anniversary of the two organizations. We want to share with you a summary and reflection on this year’s events and campaigns moving our mission forward and message delivered worldwide. The mission and promoting C.diff. Awareness has been shared this year alone with over 81,453 listeners during Season III on C. diff. Spores and More Global Broadcasting Network (www.cdiffradio.com),  5,000+ visitors during global events, 9,600+ residents and business owners throughout villages and communities by our dedicated volunteer patient advocates, over 1,000 clinicians received up-to-date data expanding their knowledge during workshops and local symposiums offered worldwide, 3,000+ incoming national hot-line calls, with thousands of e-mails seeking information.

After each event, workshop, meeting — we thank the individuals for the five years of opportunity to provide the life-saving data educating and advocating for C. difficile infection prevention, treatments, environmental safety and support worldwide.  The mission of the C Diff Foundation is the momentum of charity that has proven effective and grown over the past five years.  A single act of charity grows into more and greater charity worldwide.  The work each member of the C Diff Foundation with the hundreds of Volunteer Patient Advocates, promote the Foundation’s mission which never stops with a single act.  Instead, it builds, it grows, and it expands into an exponential impact of good in the world helping to save lives.  We thank you for your continued support and encourage you to continue your journey, proposing three verbs important to the C Diff Foundation and the C diff Survivors Alliance Network in general.

The first of these verbs is “to promote” C.diff. Awareness. It is the first step that opens doors in educating individuals, clinicians, communities in learning more about this life-threatening infection which causes a great amount of pain and suffering around the globe.  It is essential and it is the compass in reaching shared goals.

The second verb is “to heighten awareness” across the nation to continue proclaiming November Clostridium difficile infection awareness month. The Governors proclaimed November C. difficile (C.diff) infection awareness month in 2017 and we encourage them “to welcome” this proclamation in 2018 with more than a yearly executive order of greeting or inviting their residents to take notice.  We look forward to working with delegates, with your support, to make this proclamation statement nationwide and welcome the importance of the time, education, programs, and agenda in place addressing this life-threatening infection.  The C Diff Foundation advocates and supports the individuals and families suffering during and after being treated for a C. diff. infection.

Finally, the third verb that the C Diff Foundation and C diff Survivors Alliance Network propose is “to go.”  Here we are all challenged to do something with the gifts we have been given and what we are able to do.  With the unity of members with volunteers with the patients, families, and clinicians we can make a difference with enthusiasm and simplicity to get up and go.  We can do for others what we could not do for ourselves during our illnesses, during the isolation, during the losses, during the pain and suffering.  As members of the C Diff Foundation we know that our enthusiasm  for our mission is the desire to bring awareness and
promote C. difficile infection prevention, treatments, environmental safety and support worldwide.  We witness the change by delivering the data and information within villages,  through major cities and  small communities — it is only by taking this path that we gain satisfaction knowing that the news is delivered with enthusiasm “to promote, to heighten awareness and to go” with the members and volunteers in the C Diff Foundation and C diff Survivors Alliance Network.

We are truly grateful for your continued dedication, efforts and support and thank you again for making this year’s November anniversary such a special occasion through the growth and advances made worldwide.   Let’s carry the mission into the New Year, carving new paths to witness the decline in newly diagnosed cases of Clostridium difficile (C.diff., C. difficile) infections and saving lives worldwide.

“None of us can do this alone ~ All of us can do this together.”

 

 

C Diff Foundation Celebrates National Volunteer Week Worldwide

National Volunteer Week, April 23 – 29th

The C Diff Foundation celebrates National Volunteer Week, April 23 – 29 to recognize more than 150 members of the C Diff Foundation Volunteer Members worldwide, including Volunteer Patient Advocates, who have collectively donated more than 20,000 hours of volunteer service to the Foundation last year. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Sharing Time, Touching Lives.”

“Through the years the C Diff Foundation Volunteer Members have served as ambassadors of goodwill, service and compassion,” said Angelo Ortiz, C Diff Foundation’s Treasurer and Chairperson of  the Volunteer Patient Advocate Program

The C Diff Foundation, a 501(c) (3)  non-profit organization, established in 2012, and comprised of 100% volunteering professionals dedicated at supporting public health through education and advocating for C. difficile infection (CDI) prevention, treatments, environmental safety, and support worldwide

Not only do the volunteer members provide financial support for the C Diff Foundation’s programs — it is through their dedication and passion that continuously expands the Foundation’s mission.  Some volunteer patient advocates have their own unique C. diff. Survivor Journey which is shared with compassion, dedication, and caring hearts touching patients, students, fellow healthcare professionals,  and residents in the community every day.

Volunteer members will be recognized on November 9th & 10th  during the C Diff Foundation’s
5th Annual International C. diff. Awareness Conference and Health EXPO being hosted
in Las Vegas, NV.  During the annual event the “Volunteer Shooting Star” awards will
be presented along with numerous Volunteer Patient Advocate certificates for service hours.

“We are fortunate to have such kind and giving volunteers,” said Nancy C. Caralla, Foundress and Executive Director of the C Diff Foundation, “It is an honor to recognize those who have selflessly given so much to help educate, and promote the Foundation’s mission worldwide.”

The C Diff Foundation Volunteer Program was organized in 2012 to provide volunteer services, promote community understanding of Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) CDI  Infection Prevention, Treatments, Environmental Safety and Support and to raise funds for special C Diff Foundation patient/family programs.

The C Diff Foundation Members, with  the Volunteer Patient Advocates, successfully promote
C. diff. Awareness”  nationwide and in fifty-six  (56) countries and host a
U.S. Nationwide information Hot-Line (1-844-FOR-CDIF) to support health care providers, patients, and families guiding them through the difficulties caused by a C. diff. infection.

Volunteers Members serve in 12 different committees;  Host monthly teleconference support sessions; Provide Education highlighting all aspects of a  C. diff. infection and other  healthcare related topics through workshops, community events, and literature with patients, their families, and residents from villages to cities around the globe; Triage Nurses assist patients, families, clinicians with answers to prevention, treatment, environmental safety and support questions Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST;  Register support session participants,; Provide IT management; Give clerical and social media assistance to various departments;  Provide a “Global Broadcasting Network” with www.cdiffradio.com with their educational radio
program,C. diff. Spores and More which broadcasts live every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. EST. We are grateful for our sponsor Clorox Healthcare for making this program possible.  Each episode becomes a podcast and is accessible from the C. diff. Spores and More living library located on the main cdiffradio.com program page. Each November the Volunteer Members gather at the annual conference to both present and provide assistance in making the attendees feel welcome and expand their knowledge base on a variety of health topics that are linked to the main topic ~ Clostridium difficile infections.

For more information about the C Diff Foundation Volunteer Program, please call 919-201-1512 (toll free in USA 1-844-367-2343 ) or e-mail:   info@cdifffoundation.org

C Diff Foundation Volunteers — Helping Us  Help Others and The Beacon Of Light On the Other Side Of Pain and Suffering.

It’s Not All About Twinkle Lights and Bows During the Holidays

After battling a year’s worth of illness and nine rounds of Vancomycin antibiotics to rid the body of recurring C. difficile infections — the holiday season was more of a struggle than a joyous time of the year.

 

 

Without working and knowing what a paycheck looked like after a year how was I supposed to celebrate the holidays with family and friends?  The jewels of diamonds and rubies had been sold to pay for the extreme cost of antibiotics to treat this never ending infection, the IRA’s used to keep a roof over our heads, the 401K used to keep the car in the driveway, and the savings accounts emptied to cover co-pays and medical bills.

Life was not as it used to be with twinkle lights and big red bows.  It was looking more like “brown paper packages tied up with string,” (My favorite things Lyrics by Rodgers and Hammerstein).That too became a positive vs a negative as the value of life became elevated and not the values in life that we collect.  Realizing that family and friends also valued the little things like fresh baked cookies over gold trinkets purchased at the local jewelers, and the boxes of home-made ornaments I created hung elegantly on their walls and holiday traditions instead of the boxes of store bought items that I never really noticed them enjoying or using over time.   We put too much emphasis on the gifts during the holiday season instead of cherishing the times together.  Share time, create lasting memories, give love, cherish moments, embrace smiles, enjoy the hugs, and never miss the chance of taking a photo to freeze frame it all.

After being referred to Hospice and introduced to their organization it was an absolute wake up call.  It was a call to LIVE ~ a time to kick up the sand and give it all I could give because there was way too much more to do than lay down.  Don’t ever give up ~ don’t accept every deck you are dealt ~ seek other avenues and keep reaching for the stars.  Our thoughts are stronger than we think they are and our beliefs are the strong hold in life.  As the saying goes, “Begin each day with a grateful heart.”

The holiday season is right around the corner and so are you with your talents and strengths.  Keep the anxiety down to a dull roar and try not to fall into the depression of dwelling on the “have-nots” when you have SO much ~ so much to give of you ~ so much to share with others ~ so much to embrace.  YOU are special to SO many and focus on the true meaning of the holidays ~ it is not about the packages, twinkle lights and bows ~ it is about YOU and about what you are in the world ~  You are a gift to others.

Try to have an enjoyable holiday season — through the losses, through the struggles, through the treatments ~ we understand and walk beside you each day ❤  You are not alone  ❤

“None of us can do this alone ~ All of us can do this together”

 

December’s  support sessions are open for registration. Don’t delay

and register for a group today.  Registration is through the C Diff Foundation’s website

http://www.cdifffoundation.org

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C Diff Foundation Opens a New Avenue – C. diff. Nationwide Community Support Program

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The C Diff Foundation introduces the                                                                 C. diff. Nationwide Community Support (CDNCS) program beginning in November for patients, families, survivors and for anyone seeking information and support.

C. difficile (C. diff.) infections caused almost half a million infections among patients in the United States in a single year, according to a 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition, an estimated 15,000 deaths are directly attributable to C. difficile infections, making them a substantial cause of infectious disease death in the United States. (See note below [i].)

As of 2015, there is an absence of professional C. diff. (CDI) support groups in America. The                         C Diff Foundation has pioneered a collaborative plan and developed support groups in a variety of availability and locations to meet the needs of individuals seeking C. diff. information and support.

“We found it to be of the utmost importance to implement this new pathway for support and healing after speaking with numerous patients, family members, and fellow-C. diff. survivors,”

The C Diff Foundation now speak for the thousands of patients within the United States who, each year, are diagnosed with a C. diff. infection. This growth, in part, reflects the value C. diff. support groups will provide, not only to patients, their spouses, and families who are living with and recovering from a C. diff. infection, but also to the countless number of individuals who will become more aware of a C. diff. infection, the importance of early detection, appropriate treatments, and environmental safety protocols. There will also be Bereavement support group sessions for  C. diff. survivors mourning the loss of loved ones following their death from C. diff. infection involvement.

Beginning November 2015 the CDNCS groups will be available to all individuals via: Teleconferencing with some groups advancing and adding computer application programs in 2016. CDNCS groups will provide support and information  to 15 participants in each session.

The CDNCS program sessions will be hosted via: Teleconferencing with leaders and fellow C. diff. survivors  from Maryland, Florida, Missouri, Colorado, Ohio, and Oregon.

The Colorado CDNCS group is offered at a public venue and will be hosted in Arvada, Colo. every third Thursday of each month, beginning November 19th. The Meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. and end at 7 p.m lead by a C Diff Foundation Volunteer Advocate and C. diff. survivor  Mr. Roy Poole.

To participate in any CDNCS group being offered during each month, all interested participants will be asked to register through the Nationwide Hot-Line (1-844-FOR-CDIF) or through the  website http://cdifffoundation.org/ where registered individuals will receive a reply e-mail containing support group access information.

  • The Support Registration Page  will be available on November 1st.

The C. diff. Nationwide Community Support group leaders will provide a menu of topics being shared each month on the C Diff Foundation’s website ranging from Financial Crisis Relief, Bereavement, Nutrition, Mental Health, to C. diff. infection updates and everyday life during and after being treated for a prolonged illness. Both Community based sessions and Teleconference sessions will host healthcare profession topic experts

There is evidence that people who attend support group meetings have a better understanding of the illness and their treatment choices. They also tend to experience less anxiety, develop a more positive outlook, and a better ability to cope and adapt to life during and after the treatment for C. diff.

There is a Purpose:

A diagnosis of a C. diff. infection is unexpected and almost always traumatic. As a result, it is not uncommon for newly diagnosed patients to experience a wide range of emotions including, confusion, bewilderment, anger, fear, panic, and denial. Many people find that just having an opportunity to talk with another person, who has experienced the same situation, to help alleviate some of the anxiety and distress they commonly experience.

Individuals also find that they benefit not only from the support they receive, but also from the sense of well-being they gain from helping others. It has been said “support is not something you do for others but rather something you do with others.”

“None of us can do this alone – all of us can do this together.”

Follow the C Diff Foundation on Twitter @cdiffFoundation #cdiff2015 and                                        Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CdiffFoundationRadio.

Note/citation: [i] http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/biggest_threats.html