CreakyJoints is delighted to welcome Advocacy Joe (aka Joseph Coe) to the CreakyJoints blogger lineup. Joe is the Patient Advocate for the CreakyJoints umbrella organization, the Global Healthy Living Foundation. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from Marist College and a BA from the State University of New York at Albany.
I’m not so good with introductions so I figured that definitions would be a good start.
ad·vo·ca·cy as defined by Merriam-Webster:
noun ˈad-və-kə-sē : the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal : the act or process of advocating something
Joe as defined by me:
Noun jō : a twenty something year old who once he started talking never stopped: the one who will push each of you to speak out.
Put them together, and voila: Advocacy Joe.
I’ve learned in my short, but exciting life, that advocacy is a powerful tool. When we advocate we can change policy, increase rights or end the age old debate of which is better vanilla or chocolate ice cream (I vote neither- lactose intolerant).
Yet, many of us have so much to say but often remain silent. I get the reasons why: self-doubt (no one cares what I say), fear (what if they judge me?) and/or because life is just too damn hard (when our energy is devoted to living with a chronic illness who has time to advocate?). I’m here to be the other voice in your head and to tell you to speak out in spite of that.
I challenge all us of to find ways we can advocate. This can be on the smallest scale ( a kind word to family member, friend or colleague) to the largest scale (testify in front of Congress). Collectively, our actions can tip the scales. Together, we will forge a caring society that is informed by patient’s perspectives and your real life experiences. Because you are, in fact, the best resource we have.
Stay tuned and let me know how you find ways to advocate in your life.
In advocacy always,