In June 2013, DHA advocates headed to Capitol Hill to visit congressional offices to express the importance of research, education, and awareness of functional GI and motility disorders (FGIMDs). The group, made up of patients and family members of those affected by FGIMDs, all had different stories to share. Some were experienced Capitol Hill visitors who had been with us for Advocacy Day in years past. Others were coming to Washington, D.C. for the first time. All of them were committed, caring individuals who were ready to take action in the hopes of making a difference.
We had four main points to make when visiting our Congressional offices:
As constituents, it is important that these Congressional offices be made aware of what is important to us. On our visits we shared special perspectives that can only come from members of the FGIMD community and the patient population.
In all, we educated nearly 30 offices about FGIMDs and the need for more research to find treatments for these chronic and debilitating conditions during our time in Washington, DC for DHA Advocacy Day. It was an inspiring day that the entire group was happy to experience together.
“I’m already looking forward to DHA Advocacy Day 2014. Thank you for allowing all of us with digestive disorders the opportunity to be heard,” said Kat, an advocate from Virginia.
In addition to our efforts in our nation's capital last week, dedicated advocates across the country have made contact with their Representatives about the issues we discussed on Capitol Hill. More than 50% of Congress members in the House of Representatives have been contacted by their constituents about The FGIMD Research Enhancement Act of 2013 (HR 842). You can take action by contacting the Representatives for your district here. We are thankful to all of our supporters for making sure that the voices of the digestive health community be heard.