The Red Balloon project campaign has now continued over six months and it’s closer to the next summer’s Charity run at the SIP event in Malta. Social media includes thousands of pictures of people with balloons from all over the Europe.
“With the campaign we want Europe wake up and seen the wideness of the chronic pain problems and difficulties it cause at personal and economical levels” says Pain Alliance Vice President Liisa Mikkonen. “From Europeans approximately 20 % suffers chronic pain but still it is invisible. Most of the patient’s think they have a reason stay quietly in shadows; shame, occupation sensitivity, afraid of position at work, family or stigma.”
The Red Balloon project is supported by the Boston Scientific to whom the chronic pain is one of the main aspects. They want to diminish problems related to chronic pain and the negative images of pain patients.
Technical Communications Manager Tim Rae from the Boston Scientific Clonmel factory explains: “Every year The Boston Scientific arranges sites around the world event called ‘Everyone Makes an Impact Day’. During EMAI Day groups of patients are invited to visit Boston Scientific and share their feedback of therapies. Often employees have a possibility meet the patients personally. EMAI days are excellent way to remind ourselves that making active implantable medical devices is a journey we take with our patients from the moment a device concept is born, through product development to manufacturing and implant.
Maintaining the connection between employees and the patients is one of the most important aspects of Boston Scientific’s corporate culture. Not only does it help to keep our employees engaged, but it also is critical to improve the quality of patient care. Events like EMAI Day continually remind us that each person’s job in the company has an impact to many thousands of lives around the world.”
Liisa Jutila, Vice-President of Pain Alliance Europe, agrees: “the patient’s connection to industry is meaningful. The connection with real patients makes a difference when we challenge industries scientific knowledge to be innovative in order to improve existing therapies and create new ones. The main word is cooperation.”
It’s inspiring find out how people want chronic pain to be seen and noticed. Liisa continues, “I was honoured be one of the Boston Scientific patient speakers. But I was even more honoured be invited to join the workers’ evening. People were genuine and real with their thoughts and questions of chronic pain. When they talked with us it was kind of way to their coworkers bring out their own pain and how it affects their work and life overall.”
PAE has put up national organisations to take the challenge. We encourage associations and active people connecting with industry, politicians, decisions makers and other patient associations rise up the problems related to chronic pain, in all aspects of life.
Getting together we are stronger and truly, everyone makes an impact.