Myositis Awareness Month, May 2018

Proclamation Requests - URGENT

The first step for Myositis Awareness Month is to have our members request proclamations for their State and City. We want to cover each state and as many city/towns as we can.

Below you will find buttons to download the proclamation guide and a list of web links for each State.

Prior to submitting your request, please contact us using any of the following methods to ensure the request has not already been made. Having multiple requests for the same state or city can cause confusion and may cancel out all requests. In your message to us, please include your name, email, and the city and/or state you wish to request a proclamation for.

  • At the bottom of this page is a Facebook Messenger Icon. Click that to contact us via our FB page.  We will get right back to you (within 12-18 hours at most).
  • Or, email us at and we will reply.

Update – The following states have already been requested:


Download the Proclamation Guide (Word)Download the State-by-State weblinks

We are currently in the Myositis Awareness Month Planning mode and will be updating this page soon.

From Last Year's Myositis Awareness Month, May 2017

Theme: With Myositis Sometimes Zebras Have Spots!

Myositis Awareness Month 2017

Moment of Silence Sunday, May 28th at 2PM EDT

Myositis Awareness Month is also a time to honor and remember those we have lost and to encourage those still fighting. You can be a part of this moment on May 28, 2017, at 2 PM Eastern time by taking a moment of silence wherever you are at that time.

Moment of Silence 2017

With Myositis Sometimes Zebras Have Spots

The 2017 MSU Myositis Awareness Month Theme is “With Myositis, Sometimes Zebras have spots!” We want to raise awareness about how the experiences, symptoms, and complications of this rare disease are different, even among the patients with the same disease.

The Zebra is the recognized symbol for rare diseases. This campaign features a Zebra with spots. The spots indicate unique aspects of how patients and caregivers experience myositis in many different ways including complications, hardships, how it affects everyone surrounding the patient, the creativity of patients in creating and building their own assistive devices, etc.

Doctors are now being trained when you hear hoof beats, look for zebras (rarities), instead of horses (common ailments); when in the past, they only looked for the most common ailments.

Through our public education and support of our members, plus our financial assistance program, MSU helps patients deal with the rare “spots of the zebra” called Myositis. We will be releasing a “spots” sheet that includes talking points to go along with our featured theme and when wearing the t-shirts and hoodies we sold prior to Awareness Month that are sure to start conversations.

Change your social networking profile image

To use as your Facebook profile, simply click on the image, then right-click and choose “save as” or “save image as.” Each browser will word it differently. Then visit your Facebook profile and upload it to your profile for the Month of May!

Change your Facebook & Twitter cover image

To use as your Facebook cover image, simply click on the image, then right-click and choose “save as” or “save image as.” Each browser will word it differently. Then visit your Facebook profile and upload it as your cover image for the Month of May!

Myositis 'Spots' Talking Points

The MSU ‘Spots’ talking points sheet is a part of our campaign to explain how rare Myositis is and the different complications and ways it affects the patient and everyone in the patient’s life.

Download and share this document with your friends and family members for maximum impact in helping to educate and raise awareness. Also if you purchased our Zebra shirts, they are bound to create conversation. This sheet will be helpful for you when having those discussions and telling your story about living with myositis.

MSU Awareness Month Press Release

Take a look at the MSU Myositis Awareness Month Press Release. It provides an abundance of information about what we are planning for the month including education, awareness, a planning survey for your voice to be heard in helping move forward, events, and much more.

We will be updating our Facebook page along with this page with more details as we move forward through the month. Sharing this press release is also a great way to ensure your family members and friends are a part of every aspect of what we are doing for awareness month and it will also help them to better understand myositis.

Are you an adult living with Dermatomyositis?

PIONEER, Idera clinical trial for dermatomyositis

PIONEER, Idera clinical trial for dermatomyositis

Investigators are seeking people with dermatomyositis to participate in a phase 2 clinical trial of the experimental drug IMO-8400. The goals of the trial are to evaluate whether IMO-8400 can be given safely and if it can improve DM-related skin lesions and muscle weakness. The biopharmaceutical company Idera Pharmaceuticals is the clinical trial sponsor.

While the cause of dermatomyositis is unclear in most cases, it is known that ongoing inflammation triggered by the disease, over time, leads to destruction of muscle, skin and other tissues. IMO-8400 is designed to inhibit the activity of key regulators of the immune system, called Toll-like receptors (TLRs). By inhibiting TLRs . . .

NOTE: Some eligibility criteria have changed and PIONEER is still recruiting. Jerry Williams, the Founder and President of MSU will speak at Idera on May 25th as part of our mission to educate.

What is MSU doing for Awareness Month?

To raise awareness of this complicated, rare disease, MSU has scheduled many activities to promote awareness and education:

  • “Sometimes Zebras have Spots” T-shirt Campaign and Talking sheet. We have had our best T-Shirt campaign yet, selling shirts with our awareness theme, a spotted zebra, which will be accompanied by an information sheet giving members talking points about the “spots” of myositis. Download talking points here
  •  #PutaFacetoMyositis – We’ve invited members to share their own “Spot” stories of a difficult diagnosis, rarity, adaptation, they have made, or side effect of medication to be placed on an interactive Zebra graphic on our website.
  • Strategic Plan Survey – MSU is committed to making its actions be a better and better reflection of its members. As such, we are asking our members to speak up and share their voice by participating in our strategic planning by filling out an important survey about our services and platforms, as well as where they would like to see us go in the future. This will further help us #PutaFacetoMyositis and make sure we have accounted for all the “Spots” of myositis. Will you share your voice in our short, 12 question survey here: (survey now closed)
  • Video Support Sessions – We have scheduled interactive video chats to entertain, build community, educ8, and advo8 for ourselves. And, we are in the final stages of planning an “Exercise and Myositis” video chat session with one of our medical committee advisors, Dr. Tae Chung from Johns Hopkins Myositis Center. Visit our events page for more.
  • Social Media outreach – As always we want to increase awareness of myositis so we have again enlisted the Thunderclap tool. This helps us to multiply our reach exponentially. We ask that our members, and their friends and family members, add their social strength by joining the campaign.
  • Educational Outreach – The President of MSU, Jerry Williams, has been invited to speak about MSU and Myositis at Idera Pharmaceuticals Pennsylvania location on May 25th. Jerry will speak about his experience in living with Polymyositis, discuss the other forms of idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (myositis) such as Dermatomyositis, Inclusion Body Myositis, and the Juvenile forms of Myositis, in an effort to educate and promote awareness to the employees of Idera. Heather Spadaccini, a friend and often care partner for Jerry, will speak about how frightening this disease can be and some of the complications she has witnessed along the way. As this disease affects everyone around us, hearing from a friend and care partner helps others to better understand this disease. MSU collaborated with Idera on their clinical trial that is still recruiting for the experimental drug IMO-8400 for adults with Dermatomyositis.
  • Fundraising – MSU operates an all-volunteer board and staff, but our programs cost money. We run three major Facebook support groups boasting over 2000 members, we have an interactive membership website full of resources and ways to connect, we offer regular video chats, we have a financial assistance program that provides funds to myositis patients in need of financial help for medical expenses, medical travel, and household expenses, and we continue to listen to our constituents to build new programs where needed. To ensure we continue to have available funds to continue our important work we ask that you consider donating at least $25 during the month of May or even setting up a recurring donation on a monthly or yearly basis. Support our mission and our work by making your contribution at

© Myositis Support and Understanding Association, Inc. 2010-2018. All Rights Reserved. MSU is a patient-centered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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