World Narcolepsy Day 2021 Raises Global Awareness

On September 22, 2021, the third annual World Narcolepsy Day brought narcolepsy advocates together from all over the world to fight stigma and raise global awareness. Community members raised their voices through social media, artwork, videos, events, and so much more. 

While it would be impossible to capture all the day’s greatness, here are just a few highlights from Project Sleep’s community. 

Everyone's narcolepsy is different. Ask me to learn more.

NFL Player Speaks Out about Narcolepsy

When I first got diagnosed, I didn’t know anybody with narcolepsy. Finding Project Sleep and their community of people raising awareness and advocating, I felt like this was my calling, something I could get behind to help make a difference.”

−Josh Andrews, WND Press Release

Huge thanks to Josh Andrews, offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons, for sharing his story of living with narcolepsy publicly for the first time in a video collaboration with Project Sleep for World Narcolepsy Day. Watch and share:

Reel Life with Narcolepsy

Check out these creative World Narcolepsy Day Instagram Reels, including Project Sleep’s reel traveling around the world in 60 seconds.

Oh Snap! Virtual Photo Booth

People and pets around the world participated in our first-ever World Narcolepsy Day Virtual Photo Booth – creating over 850 photos and gifs collectively! See all your photos together in the mosaics at the top and bottom of this post and view the entire gallery here.

Around the World

Friends & Family

Snuggle Buddies

Narcolepsy in the News

We were so excited to see Rising Voices of Narcolepsy advocates Kristin Clark and Tara O’Connor, both from the US, and Dara Bray Egan, a Portlaoise College student in Ireland, got their stories in the news! Click below for their articles and news clips:

A Slam Dunk for Awareness

NBA Live on World Narcolepsy Day

Special thanks to Lauren and Isiah Thomas and the entire Thomas family for championing narcolepsy awareness! If you were watching NBA TV on World Narcolepsy Day, you might have seen a very special shout out in the ticker (see above)! Photography by Michelle Zagardo.

Narcolepsy Art

There’s no doubt about it, this community’s got major creative talent. Your creativity never fails to amaze, and this year’s World Narcolepsy Day art was no exception.

Artwork by: @dana_harel8, @rossilustracion, @anishawilliamsx, @dunsethrose, @eva.del.somnolence, @ryanlouderartist, @narc0l3p5yk0t1k, @perskripshun, and @englishwithskye.

Project Sleep’s Events

World Narcolepsy Day Media Training

In the broadcast, public relations and media experts highlighted how to pitch your story to local news stations for World Narcolepsy Day.

Farah’s Story from Toronto, Canada

Farah Hasan lives in Ontario and is a new graduate student in health science education research. Diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia at 21, she will share insights from her journey to diagnosis and treatment. As a speaker with Project Sleep’s Rising Voices of Narcolepsy program, Farah hopes to demystify the symptoms of idiopathic hypersomnia and narcolepsy.

Alexa’s Story from Mexico – in SPANISH

Alexa Cuevas is a 22-year-old pharmaceutical sciences student and customer service representative in Mexico. She was diagnosed with type 1 narcolepsy with cataplexy in 2019 and is now an advocate with Project Sleep’s Rising Voices of Narcolepsy program. This broadcast is in Spanish, watch Alexa’s story in English here.

World Narcolepsy Day International Broadcast

On World Narcolepsy Day, our feature broadcast highlighted people living with narcolepsy from Australia, China, Germany, Poland, Angola, Brazil, and Israel. 

Last but not least, Josh Andrews joined Project Sleep’s President and CEO, Julie Flygare, on World Narcolepsy Day via Instagram Live for a candid discussion answering great questions from the community. Watch here.

Thank You!

Huge Thanks to everyone who made World Narcolepsy Day 2021 a huge success. Seeing your love and support for each other throughout September was incredibly moving. Please see more #WorldNarcolepsyDay awareness in action on Instagram.

Thank you to our partner organizations around the world and all who participated in Project Sleep’s activities. You rocked our world, literally!

Wearing Your Awareness!

Thank you for supporting Project Sleep’s t-shirt fundraiser. You snapped up over 1,000 shirts and wore them with pride. (P.S. Awareness never goes out of style! You can still order here.)

Special Thanks: WND Ambassadors

Over 50 community members gave their time and energy as World Narcolepsy Day Ambassadors to promote awareness of narcolepsy by participating in activities, raising funds, and spreading the word about narcolepsy in their schools, workplaces and communities. HUGE thanks to all our WND Ambassadors, and a special shoutout to our top three fundraisers:

Special Thanks: Our WND Committee

Special Thanks to Project Sleep’s 2021 World Narcolepsy Day Committee, a group of narcolepsy awareness champions and volunteers led by our Board Member, Cienna Ditri. We are forever grateful to these Committee members who provided invaluable ideas, input, and support. We couldn’t have pulled all this off without this incredible team, including: Cienna, Iris, Katie, Lauren, Ashley, Asia, Ana, Brielle, Julie, Matt, Jenn, Lindsey, Kristyn, Kristen, Christina, Stacy, Tracy, and Grisel.

Please rest well for now, friends. We can’t wait to celebrate 2022 World Narcolepsy Day with you on September 22nd, 2022!
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