Thursday, 11 October 2012

ITP and me, by Greta Burroughs

This article was previously published as 'Authors Give Back' article by Rhonda Hopkins on her blog, which is here: and is reproduced with her kind permission.

Greta is a wife, mother of three dogs and an author. She also has an autoimmune disease called ITP – Immune Thrombocytopenia, also known as Immune or Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura . This blood disorder changed many facets of her life, but she has no regrets. It gave her the opportunity to become a writer; first as a freelance reporter for a local newspaper and then as an author. Writing has become very important to her and she has also been able to fulfil her dream of writing a novel. 

Scroll down to find out how you can help the charity of her choice.

ITP…three little letters that can turn a person’s world upside down.

For kids, that means not being able to run and play with friends when platelet counts are low. For teenagers, appearance is of the utmost importance and having bruises, rashes and the like make them want to run away and hide. For adults, the ever present question looms at the back of their mind, where did that bruise come from?

ITP is an autoimmune disorder where a person’s immune system starts to destroy what it is supposed to protect. In the case of this blood disease, platelets are targeted. A low platelet count leads to the inability of the blood to clot properly. This results in bruising, petechiae or possible internal or external hemorrhaging.

There is no cure for ITP, only treatments and sometimes the treatments are worse than the disease itself. The PDSA (Platelet Disorder Support Association) works tirelessly to spread awareness of ITP and to raise money for research. Through their efforts, September is now recognized as ITP Awareness Month. Events across the USA are sponsored by the PDSA during the month to bring this terrible blood disorder to the attention of everyone and to raise money for research.

September is an important month but the PDSA continues their campaign year round. Since ITP is not very well known, it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get the word out to the general public and to raise funds for studies and research. They host a conference annually for ITPers to attend. During the conference, information on new findings and treatments are presented, plus it gives people suffering from this disease a chance to meet and talk.

The PDSA does not work alone, the ITP Foundation in the UK also has the same goal: to spread awareness and initiate research for better treatments and maybe someday a cure.

Why do I think the PDSA and the UK Foundation are worthy causes? Because I have ITP.  During the first several years of trying to understand this disease, I felt alone and very confused. I did not know any other people facing the same challenges. When I discovered PDSA and the various support groups on Facebook, I realized there were other ITPers out there asking the same questions.

I am in remission now but since my diagnosis in 2005, I have experienced a doozy of a ride on the ITP roller coaster. I wrote about my experiences in a book entitled Heartaches and Miracles to do my part in helping to spreading the word. For the month of September and October, the proceeds from the sale of my story will be donated to the PDSA.

You can buy Greta’s books at the following locations. If you purchase Heartaches and Miracles, you will be helping to support a great cause:
Amazon US     Amazon UK     B&N     Smashwords

Greta's other books:

A follow-up to Gerald and the Wee People is coming soon...

You can find out more about Greta and connect with her at the following:

Also on my blog:

Words with Greta Burroughs -
My reviews of Greta's books - check under the 'book review's tab


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