July 8th, 2020. Bionical Ltd T/A Bionical Emas is delighted to announce their support of rare disease charity, Same But Different.
Same But Different is a not-for-profit organisation which uses the arts for positive social change by working in partnership with Organisations, Communities and Individuals to highlight inequalities and bring communities closer together. Typically, they create thought-provoking art projects that stimulate conversation, change attitudes and empower those affected, however it is as part of their ‘Let’s Face This Together’ campaign that Bionical Emas have become involved.
The ‘Let’s Face This Together’ initiative is to provide free themed face masks featuring little Zebras (for diagnosed conditions) and Swans (for Syndrome Without A Name, undiagnosed conditions) – which are internationally recognised emblems of rare disease, to all children affected by rare disease.
With 75% of rare diseases affecting children, many families face very real fears about the COVID-19 pandemic, not least because a high percentage are required to be shielded. Rare diseases do not simply stop due to pandemics and hospital appointments cannot all take place over the phone which adds to the fear that families experience at this time. Providing children with a face mask that has been designed just for them and is soft, comfortable and easy to wear allows them to feel confident and protected when leaving the safety of their home.
The inspirational Same But Different Team only consists of 5 people who have been juggling their day to day work whilst coordinating the production of the masks, making masks themselves and individually packing each mask and sending them out! The Team have also been overwhelmed with support from over 50 volunteer sewer and material cutters. They are about to reach their (staggering) 3000th mask! As you can imagine, requests have been flooding in from families all over the world covering over 400 different types of rare disease conditions with the top 5 including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Cystic Fibrosis, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Angelman Syndrome and Noonans Syndrome. 500 of these masks have also been sent over to the US for distribution via the Rare Advocacy Movement.
If you, or someone you know, has a child affected by a rare disease and would like to know more about how to request a mask, please visit samebutdifferentcic.org.uk/facemask if you are in the UK and samebutdifferentcic.org.uk/facemaskus if you are in the US.