Thursday 11 December 2014

Why I am Committed to Getting Involved!

"I am committed to getting involved in Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (T.T.P.) awareness because it’s a cause that is close to my heart.
Audrina & Remy

In the span of a couple of years, I went from being blissfully unaware of T.T.P. to suddenly wanting to know everything about it. This need to learn about this rare blood disease grew when my cousin Audrina almost died from it. Her story is one that I thought I would only read about in magazines or see on the news. I never thought that someone I love would have to live with an incurable disease.

Remy & Audrina
I grew up with my cousin Audrina, who was diagnosed with T.T.P. three years ago when she gave birth to her daughter Remy. In a way, when Audrina received her T.T.P.diagnosis, it was like everyone who loved her did too. We all became committed to researching this exotic-sounding disease and trying to figure out what the heck “purpura” was. We all united and became Audrina’s Army, a name conceived for our team for the Annual Walk to Answer TTP Together, a walk dedicated to raising global awareness and funds for TTP. Audrina’s battle against TTP has inspired me to join in and to help the TTP community in anyway I can, but not just once a year while walking in the Annual Walk. I want to get more involved in different areas to help have the biggest impact I can.  

Two years ago, I completed my graduate degree in journalism and I devoted many articles and media projects to Audrina and her T.T.P. journey. I was proud to educate my classmates on this disease, and quite coincidentally, I learned that a fellow classmate’s aunt also had T.T.P.; it was like I was in a foreign country and I finally found someone who spoke the same language. It’s a testament to how an affliction as rare as T.T.P. can still unite groups of people – if you have the courage to talk about it.

Audrina's Army during their Walk to Answer TTP Together
Recently, my family and I moved from sunny Southern California to even sunnier Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. We left the day after the 2014 Walk to Answer TTP Together in September. Changing time zones does not mean that I changed my views on supporting Audrina through her journey as a T.T.P. survivor. Nor does it mean that I have changed my mind about getting involved with the Answering TTP Foundation. I may be on the other side of the world from the Foundation, but I have learned that there are ways that I can still get involved!  

No matter who or where you are, you can still reach out and make some kind of difference!"

- Laura Santana

To find out how you can get involved to help make a difference in the lives of those affected by TTP please visit our website HERE. You can make a difference!