January 31 is International Day of the Zebra!Posted January 27, 2022
Day of the zebra
On Monday, January 31st, the world recognizes International Day of the Zebra. On this day, we celebrate our own zebra dazzle: individuals living with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) and hypermobility spectrum disorders (HSD).
Education and awareness
Medical students have been taught for decades that, “When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don’t expect to see a zebra.” In other words, look for the more common and usual, not the surprising, diagnosis.
People with multisystemic conditions can spend years searching for answers:
“But you look normal”
“You’re too young to have so many problems”
“You’re too old”
“You can’t be in that much pain”
“No one knows what that is”
The zebra became our symbol because those with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes or hypermobility spectrum disorders are the unexpected. “Sometimes when you hear hoofbeats, it really is a zebra.”
When you see a zebra, you know it’s a zebra—but no two zebras have identical stripes just as no two people with an Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or hypermobility spectrum disorder are identical. We have different symptoms, different types, different experiences—and we are all working towards a time when a medical professional immediately recognizes someone with an EDS or HSD, reducing the time to diagnosis, and improving pathways to care.
Community is everything
A group of zebras is called a dazzle.
Living with an EDS or HSD is not always easy. We take comfort and pride in the support of our community, and what we can achieve together. Together, we dazzle!
- Connect with others on our Let’s Chat virtual groups which take place several times per month. Join from anywhere in the world, via the Zoom platform.
- Our Inspire message board is an engaged community and moderated by the Society’s helpline team. Join over 111,000 people from around the world, search conversations by keywords, and ask your questions.
How to raise awareness about EDS and HSD on International Day of the Zebra?
- Show your stripes! When people ask you why the zebra, take the opportunity to tell them about EDS and HSD.
- Add our #DayOfTheZebra frame to your social media profile picture.
- Encourage your friends and family to show their support by wearing zebra stripes (even if it’s on a Zoom call or to the supermarket!)
- Share our “Why the Zebra” video.
- Tell the world what being a zebra means to you – tag us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!
- Go Wild! Tell us how you celebrated International Day of the Zebra by posting on social media using hashtag #DayOfTheZebra.
Categorized in: Society News