How DIY works in real life

| Steve Bieler

Team NPF gives you plenty of opportunities to walk, run and bike to help support the National Psoriasis Foundation. But what do you do if there’s no event scheduled in your area?

No problem! You can always create your own Team NPF event. Just do it yourself, or DIY. We’re happy to help. Here are some examples from our resourceful volunteers.

Help the XBigMan “X” out PsA

Mark Davis of San Francisco calls himself the XBigMan because he once weighed 368 pounds. It took him four years, but he made it all the way down to 200 pounds and stayed there.

Davis eventually left his career as an accountant and became a triathlon athlete (he learned to swim two months before his first triathlon) and a personal trainer.

Earlier this year, Davis was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. He went online, learned everything he could about the disease, and discovered NPF and Team NPF DIY. On the night of his diagnosis, this man of action posted his own DIY challenge: On June 12, Davis will compete in the “Escape from Alcatraz” triathlon.

“I will swim from Alcatraz and hit the beach,” he explained. “I will then bike and run the streets of San Francisco and not stop until I cross the finish line at the Marina Green. I beat morbid obesity, now I will beat psoriatic arthritis.”

Davis invites you to support him in his DIY quest.

The battle against psoriasis comes to Pittsburgh

Kimberly Connors is an immunology specialist with AbbVie, representing the biologic Humira (adalimumab). She’s the head of an enthusiastic group of Team NPF volunteers in Pittsburgh. “We hope to get a conversation started in Pittsburgh between patients, health care providers and patient advocates,” she said.

Though she doesn’t have psoriatic disease, she explained that psoriasis impacts her friends and family, “which is where my motivation began. When I became an immunology specialist, I realized that the psoriasis patient lacked a local support team for their very frustrating disease. So this has been my mission for the last 12 months, and I hope to build upon our efforts moving forward.”

Connors contacted NPF last year to get the ball rolling, and after some discussion decided to host a dinner and a silent auction. That event will take place at The Porch on Wednesday, June 22.

“This is my first DIY event with  NPF, and I’m really excited,” Connors said. “Our silent auction will include about 10 baskets containing a variety of local goodies. The volunteers are the sole contributors of these baskets, and all proceeds will go to NPF.”

In case you can’t make it to Pittsburgh on June 22, you can always support Connors and her team online

Gambling on a good cause

Sue Jaqua has been an NPF member since 2005. “I was able to raise money for NPF by appealing to my friends and family, but I couldn’t get them to participate by walking with Team NPF,” she said.

She got the idea for holding a bingo night from her husband’s employer and their annual summer picnic. “My idea was to have a social event that friends and family would attend. They’d have fun playing bingo and raise money for NPF at the same time. As a member of the Portland Division of NPF, we are always looking for ways to raise funds as well as awareness. I came up with the bingo idea as a way to do both.”

Jaqua got the go-ahead from NPF, formed a committee, and in just a few months organized Portland’s BingoFest back in February 2015. “That first year was wild and hectic, but it all fell into place thanks to a great committee and the support of NPF,” she said.

DIY Bingo is now Team NPF Bingo. This do-it-yourself event now has a corporate sponsor, Lilly, and plans to spread across the country. Jaqua is the chair of the Portland event, which returned in 2016. “As we plan for the next one here in Portland in 2017, we are looking to reach more people, many of whom do not have psoriatic disease nor do they know anything about it,” she said. “I think it is important to think outside the box, and DIY events allow us to do so.”

Jaqua likes to spread the DIY gospel. “At the 2015 NPF volunteer conference, I challenged the attendees to think of something they like to do and turn it into a DIY event,” she said.

Team NPF DIY provides the platform for you to participate on your own terms. No more excuses. Get involved! Contact us ([email protected]) with your ideas and questions.


Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

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