If you are a group owner and/or an administrator of a gastroparesis group, please join Gastroparesis Alliance: https://www.facebook.com/groups/gpalliance/ so that we can talk about how to unite and have our voices heard. We should be working together, not against each other. Most gastroparesis (GP) groups have the same goals and I'd love to have discussions with you on how to proceed on working together towards our common goal. We can talk about running awareness events together, or even bringing our group members together to talk and meet each other. We need to remember that people can be a part of a group and also join another group. It doesn't mean that the group they are in is any lesser of a group, it just means that there are more people who may be qualified to answer questions that you or I cannot. We should work together to help people in the gastroparesis community as well as spreading awareness so that we can inspire research and eventually a cure.
Every gastroparesis group is important and I want to take the time to thank people for making groups that others can join to find answers, be able to vent, and to be validated. Some people do not get that validation from their family, friends, or even their doctors. When I was first diagnosed, my family and friends thought it was all in my head. I cannot tell you how many friends I lost because of my illness. Chronic illnesses like gastroparesis are very isolating and these groups that we have started are many people's only outlet about their illness. So, to all of the group owners and administrators, thank you for doing what you do daily. It's a very thankless job and a very demanding one. However, you ARE doing something important and you may not realize how many lives you touch on a daily basis. The running of groups themselves are very demanding, but thank you for being selfless enough to start one and to help people. People are thankful, even though they might not be able to express it, but I think it is an amazing feat considering all of us are sick ourselves. So, on behalf of myself and my family, I want to thank each and every one of you who do this and encourage you to keep doing it. You never know how much you might help someone, or even stay them from suicide. Each group is important and I believe that is why we should work together.
We really get so upset...there are no words, when we log into to our GP Community and realize that some of our members died overnight. It makes it hard to log in ... I'm honestly scared to get on the computer and log into Facebook, terrified of finding another green candle (a green candle, for those of you who may not know, signifies that someone in the gastroparesis community has passed away. It's our way of showing respect). We really need to make our voices heard. If we are going to get anywhere with awareness for gastroparesis, we need to team up as groups and work together. According to Aesop's fable, which has a wonderful moral to share about this very same subject, which can be found at:(http://fablesofaesop.com/the-father-his-sons-and-the-bundle-of-sticks.html,
"A certain Father had a family of Sons, who were forever quarreling among themselves. No words he could say did the least good, so he cast about in his mind for some very striking example that should make them see that discord would lead them to misfortune.
One day when the quarreling had been much more violent than usual and each of the Sons was moping in a surly manner, he asked one of them to bring him a bundle of sticks. Then handing the bundle to each of his Sons in turn he told them to try to break it. But although each one tried his best, none was able to do so.
The Father then untied the bundle and gave the sticks to his Sons to break one by one. This they did very easily.
'My Sons,' said the Father, 'do you not see how certain it is that if you agree with each other and help each other, it will be impossible for your enemies to injure you? But if you are divided among yourselves, you will be no stronger than a single stick in that bundle.'
In unity is strength."
For those of you who are suffering from grief because you've lost someone who meant a lot to you, I have an article for you to read that may make you feel a bit better: http://www.emilysstomach.com/2016/04/losing-loved-one-to-chronic-illness.html.
I hope that you'll join this important cause. I really need you, the gastroparesis community really needs you. The more voices we have, maybe someone will listen and help us. No one should starve to death.