In Jasper, Pajama Day is anything but a sleeper.
The annual event brings supporters and Auto Immune Disease sufferers together for a day of raising awareness, money and hope for a better quality of life for millions of people living with AI disease.
On February 27, an estimated 1,260 Jasperites walked with event organizer Marta Rode to show their support. Jasperites all over the community donned their bedroom best to represent AI sufferers who often can’t leave the house for their symptoms.
“This is absolutely overwhelming,” said Rode’s sister, Hana Dankov-Bye.
Rode was diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis, a disease which affects the body’s organs and blood vessels. The disease affects one in 40,000 people. Three years ago, she started Find the Common Thread, an organization that would bring together sufferers under the same banner.
“One in five people are affected by auto immune diseases,” she said. “We need to unite as a group and show the world who it’s actually hitting.”