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Gracias, תודה, Terima kasih, dank je, Kiitos, Merci, Grazie, Takk skal du ha, obrigado, Tack, Děkuji, ευχαριστώ, Þakka þér fyrir, tak skal du have, شكرا Thank you to everyone in the worldwide Idiopathic Hypersomnia community for making the 2019 Idiopathic Hypersomnia Awareness Week® (IHAW) the best year yet! I always hope that each year the IHAW will reach more and more people but this year it has truly exceeded my expectations and the reason for that is YOU! Participating in the IHAW whether you have shared your ‘patient perspective’, helped with translations or interacted (comments, likes and shares) with our posts on social media and shared pages from our webpage you have played an important role in a worldwide movement to raise awareness and educate people about Idiopathic Hypersomnia.

I am excited to see awareness of Idiopathic Hypersomnia grow, particularly in parts of the world where awareness and education is so poor. If you’re new to the community, you may be surprised to know that there was almost nothing online about Idiopathic Hypersomnia when we started 7 years ago so your support really is making a difference.

It will take some time for me to asses just how far we have reached this year because our posts are still being shared and because I have a number of emails and messages I need to get to with updates from people all over the world. I do know however that we have again reached hundreds of thousands of people across various social media platforms, our website and through print and online media and also radio. We have reached people in at least 25 countries that I know of so far making the IHAW a very effective worldwide awareness raising platform.

I believe the key to success is a unified voice under one banner and I think the success of the IHAW has shown this to be true. We encourage other people and organisations to join us. After all, we have similar goals and we champion this cause for the same reasons. If you are an organisation or individual and you would like to be involved in next year’s IHAW please contact us at Planning starts around March when we will get a group of people together to help plan and organise the event. Community input is important to us so we will be asking for ideas and feedback. Do you have an idea for something you can do locally? Let us know and we will do what we can to help you achieve that goal!

It has always been my dream that the IHAW would have its own website. I am working hard towards making that happen. Hypersomnolence Australia, the hosts of the IHAW is a registered not for profit charity that charges no membership and receives no funding so achieving our goals for the IHAW requires support from the IH community. If you think we have done a good job raising awareness and would like us to continue to do so at at least the standard we do now but hopefully on an even bigger scale with the IHAW's own website please consider donating. No amount is too small, just $5 can make all the difference. If you have any trouble donating via Facebook you can also donate directly via PayPal (please do try the donation button on the Facebook post first because PayPal charges fees, whereas we get 100% of your donation via Facebook giving).

Although the Idiopathic Hypersomnia Awareness Week has come to a close, don’t stop following our social media. Raising awareness is a year long event for us so we will be continuing to post informative content including details about next years IHAW and how you can get involved.

The IHAW is in the first full week in September so next year it will be 7-13 September 2020.

Michelle Chadwick

Founder/Director - Hypersomnolence Australia

Idiopathic Hypersomnia Awareness Week

Director - Sleep Disorders Australia


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