When I signed up for the Great Strides walk, I knew an easy crowd to target for donations would be my co-workers. I have worked at the same job for over ten years now and they are generally all a very supportive group, especially with fund raisers. The only thing...only two people in my office (out of 80) know that I have CF. Its hard to gain full support, when people don't really know what they are supporting. I decided it was time to share my story with the office.
Its actually a difficult task. How would I go about doing this? Massive e-mail? Announcement at a staff meeting? Go cubical to cubical? Nothing really seemed to make sense. It was important for me to be tactful and professional. I wanted to spread the word around, but I also didn't want to shove my private life onto people in the work place. So I came up with the idea of word of mouth. I started with sending an e-mail to a group of co-workers who I would also consider to be friends. I asked them to participate in a fund raiser I am hosting at a local restaurant with the hopes that we could all have dinner together. I sent around information on CF and some information about my life with CF.
The response was pretty neutral...some people had questions, but not many. I think mainly people have been respectful of my privacy with discussing my medical history in the work place. I am ok with talking about it, but it is nice to know people are really being calm about it. I didn't know what to expect, really.
My goal is to slowly introduce CF into the work place. I just want to raise awareness about CF, to provide meaning to people as to why I am asking for their support. In addition to my own fund raising, our office often sponsors charities in the community. I have asked for the office to sponsor the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We hold bake sales, BBQs, etc to raise funds. I am excited to have their support with this.