Embracing the spirit of giving beyond the holiday season

How others' generosity inspires me to make a positive impact on those in need

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by Ann Reynoso |

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‘Tis the season of giving, a time when the spirit of benevolence fills the air. During the holidays, we’re encouraged to give wholeheartedly and with grace, which creates an atmosphere of joy and peace.

However, the season’s festivities prompt some reflection on the nature of giving. Why limit this beautiful act to a specific time? What if we embraced it throughout the entire year?

Although the holidays serve as a reminder to express generosity, kindness and compassion should be practiced year-round. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to help those in need every day?

This shift in perspective can help us recognize the broader, lasting impact our actions can have on those facing challenges in their daily lives.

And besides, helping others doesn’t only benefit those in need. It also creates a profound “feel-good” sensation in the giver’s body and mind, sparking a cascade of health benefits. According to the Cleveland Clinic, giving is a powerful means of self-care that releases essential chemicals such as serotonin, which regulates mood, dopamine, which provides a sense of pleasure, and oxytocin, which creates a sense of connection with others.

It’s a win-win.

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A meaningful way to give back

Two years ago, I shared that, thanks to many generous donations, several nonprofit organizations were able to assist me with some outrageously expensive copays. But the theme of giving is so significant it warranted another column.

Nonprofits serve as invaluable pillars of support for those of us navigating medical issues. For countless patients, these organizations become lifelines, offering assistance in the form of covering insurance premiums and prescription copays, aiding with doctor appointments, or even providing transportation. These services go beyond immediate physical assistance, often enhancing a person’s overall well-being.

In my journey with pulmonary fibrosis, several extraordinary nonprofits have played a pivotal role in helping me access the care I need. Among them, Accessia Health, HealthWell Foundation, Patient Advocate Foundation, and BI Cares Patient Assistance Program, stand out. To me, these organizations exemplify the profound positive impact of a community united in giving.

Before my own health journey began, I used to contribute monthly donations to a children’s research hospital, driven by a genuine desire to make a positive impact. At the time, I was unaware of the complex ways these contributions were dispersed or how they directly affected people’s lives. It wasn’t until I found myself battling a rare and chronic illness that I truly understood the importance of donations and support.

Chronic illness not only brings physical challenges, but also a heavy financial burden for patients and their families. The generosity of those who contribute to charitable organizations can be a lifeline for those navigating long-term health issues. Thoughtful donations can offer families significant relief from the financial strain of medical challenges, and recipients are often empowered by the security these contributions can provide.

As I reflect on my own journey, I’m grateful for the selfless donations that have helped me navigate the unpredictable and overwhelming nature of life with a rare disease.

If you’re inspired by the impact of the nonprofit organizations I mentioned above and wish to learn more or contribute to their noble causes, please consider visiting their websites. Embracing the spirit of giving by supporting a cause you believe in could be the first step toward making a positive impact on the lives of those who need it most.

Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.


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