Archive for November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dolls:flowers

Happy Thanksgiving! I want to let you know what is happening with the foundation. Three years ago we decided to start this website. We really didn’t post until January of 2010. I was scared to death.

Today, I am really proud and extremely thankful for you, our readers. We are proud to say, we are now in 130 countries around the world. We have had over 1,300,000 hits on a topic many who we talk to say they have never heard of.

In fact, when I was first diagnosed with Charcot Foot, we went on line to research the topic. It was nearly 6 weeks before my husband found an article on Charcot. Just recently, we found over six pages with over twenty listings on each, of articles on Charcot Foot written by knowledgeable Podiatrists, Foot and Ankle Surgeons and others well versed in this area of medicine.

Thanks to you for asking about Charcot Foot, because you wanted answers, you have caused this information to surface. Thus you are helping others. We have had e-mails thanking us for our stories and information that has helped them find some answers.

Charcot Awareness Education Foundation is here to inform and educate the public concerning Charcot Foot, a devastating bone deterioration disease made worse by Diabetes, Alcoholism and 22 other diseases. Hopefully, this knowledge will help individuals avoid amputation.

We have given out hundreds of brochures on Charcot and we visit with individuals everyday about Charcot. We have done presentations to diabetic groups and seniors. We even sat a bazaar, recently, to raise money for our cause. One thing that is really exciting is the fact that high school and college students are writing papers concerning Charcot Foot. Recently, Bonnie was interviewed for such a paper by a nursing student.

We would appreciate it if you would continue helping us get the word out about Charcot. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. If you would like to help us,financially, you can send your donations to Charcot Awareness Education Foundation, P.O. Box 3902, Silverdale, WA, 98383-3902 ,OR If you would like to hand out, or just have a brochure email your request to mashaw @ mindspring.com YOU DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Again, Thank you for your help and Happy Thanksgiving!! We hope you and yours have much to be thankful for this Holiday Season.

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

We Need Your Help!

Charcot Awarness Education Foundation

I am Annita Shaw, founder of Charcot Awareness Education Foundation I have Charcot Foot. I was fortuate enouh to have been diagnosed early enough to have surgery which saved my feet from amputation.

We are certainly thankful for all the positive comments and the donations that have come to Feet B-W copyCharcot Awareness Education Foundation at this time. Our foundation was back dated as a 501 (c) (3) non profit to July of 2008. We received that word in 2009 and began work on a web site which went live February 4, 2010. This came about because of a lot of volunteer time from our son. Since my husband and I were solely responsible for the foundation, we used and are still using our personal computer and printer. We had to purchase a new printer as the old one was no longer able to do the work we needed done. We designed a brochure and business cards to further inform and educate the public about this devastating disease. I designed the materials and Max used the computer to complete the projects. Our funding came from our own income as donations were not enough to cover the expenses.

Asking for money has always been hard for me, but we are getting better. Those we have business Card copyapproached for monetary help have been wonderful. We have been able to fund some large visuals for our presentations and are now working toward enough money to have 5000 brochures printed and costs to be able to set a couple of conferences to spread awareness. It would be wonderful to get enough money to be able to buy a good computer system for the foundation and eventually rent an office to do business from.

In order to continue this endeavor, we are asking for your help. If you would like to help us continue getting the word out, we would appreciate any donation you feel you could contribute. We are so proud to hear from so many of you from around the world. It is wonderful reading comments from those we have helped. Hopefully, those of you who have Charcot Foot, or surgery because of it will be willing to share your stories with us.

Please send your donations to:
Charcot Awareness Education Foundation
P. O. Box 3902
Silverdale, WA 98383-3902.

Thank you so very much.

This weeks article was contributed by Founder Annita Shaw

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Looking Back

I just returned from doing a presentation at the Naval Hospital for a group of diabetics interested in improving their health and finding out new information. They were delightful. I really enjoy sharing my story and that of others with Charcot Foot. This group was very interested in finding a medical professional that really knew the problems of the foot and were interested in helping them with their problem. They needed to know how to get referred to the right doctor. Would it be a Podiatrist, DPM, an orthotics specialist, an orthopedist, a foot and ankle surgeon, DPM, FACFAS, or someone else qualified? Any one of these people can help.

Orthodics w:special featuresOne thing we discussed was how do you get your feet healthy and get rid of the calluses. In my instance, it was keeping the foot clean and use a good moisturizing healing skin cream which can be recommended or prescribed by a doctor, but not necessarily. Being sent to an orthopedist to have custom orthotics made to take the pressure off the area on the foot that is callused really helped me in the beginning. The “custom” orthotics that are sold at the local fair is not really custom. They may give temporary relief, but you probably need a true custom orthotic. “One size fits all” does not work in this instance. The orthotics specialist can cut and paste to ease the pressure on the callused area to provide the foot with comfort when walking thus stopping the callus from developing.

The machinery, including computers, has improved so much that the person who prepares your custom orthotics for you can really customize them to your foot. This means your walking will be comfortable. You will have healthier feet free from calluses, ulcers and other ailments.

Getting the word out about Charcot Foot, educating people about Charcot and its devastating effects, the possibilities available to help one with the disease and to know about various pieces of equipment that one experiences with the disease including a prosthesis because of an amputation is what our foundation is all about.
Activities of past 5 months

I am so proud of what we have done since we really became active in February. of 2010 We began the web site and are now around the world with over 40,000 hits. Many have taken the time to give us encouraging comments. Many said we have encouraged them, even given them a resource for a college paper. We want to be a support. We met with and presented to individuals, small groups and relatively large groups. We have set a booth at Senior Conferences. We created and handed out our brochures in 15 states. We want everyone to know about this devastating disease so that those with Charcot Foot can keep their feet and not end up with an amputation. Now, today, (2013) we have had over 1,000,000 hits and in over 180 countries. We appreciate all the donations and especially all that you do to keep us informed of your situation and help us spread the word about Charcot.

We would be happy to send you a brochure explaining Charcot. E-mail your request to: mashaw @ mindspring.com

This weeks article was contributed by Founder Annita ShawBrought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Be Proactive

A friend of mine said she didn’t understand how her sister ended up with bloody blisters on her feet and didn’t feel them. Have you ever had the doctor check the sensation of your feet with a small monofiliment line? Did he explain the test, or results, or the reason for the test? Mine may have, but it didn’t mean anything to me. I left feeling that everything was normal. It wasn’t. Like many with Neuropathy you don’t feel the pain or sensation you should. So you really need to be proactive with your foot care.

The bloody blister thing happened to me. I didn’t feel anything either. We were in Vegas. It was incredibably hot. I was wearing socks in sandals. We decided to walk to he Mall and back to the RV. When I stepped up in to the RV, I looked down at my foot. It was bloody, so was the other one. Once inside. My husband helped me remove the sandal and socks to reviel bloody blisters. We carefully bathed and cleaned them. Did I go the the doctor? No. Instead, we relied on some home remedies used on us as kids and continued our trip. Healing went fine. Later upon reflection and after I was diagnosed with diabetes, I realized that this was a sign. I just didn’t know what it meant.

Keep your feet healthy. That means you do need to check your feet daily. Pay attention to the fact you may have stepped on something and check. Keep them clean and free from ulcers, calluses and infection. If you need medication to control blood sugar, or other conditions, take it correctly and get regular check ups so your healing is at its maximum. If you have Charcot Foot, having a healthy foot is extremely important because a healthy foot means you will be able to keep the foot and not likely to have it amputated. It may mean orthotics, custom shoes, other type of bracing, but you will be able to walk.

Seek out a support group if you have diabetes, or look for others who may have Charcot. Keep in contact with them by phone or meet with the organized group or meet once a month for lunch, or breakfast as a social, or share happenings in your life. You could even see a movie together, go the the local theatre for a play, concert, or musical. Stay active, Share your experiences, wheather travels, things you’ve read, or your charcot situation. Education helps one learn. This will improve your life, as well as, that of others. I have found six people here in our small community that have Charcot just through observation and asking a few non-evasive questions. Don’t be a hermit.

Even if walking is limited, you can maintain your independence and quality of life. Remember your feet are your foundation.

This weeks article was contributed by Founder Annita Shaw

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation