The death of Steve Jobs last month naturally prompted a huge amount of media coverage and surprisingly an outpouring of emotion online as devotees came to terms with the passing of the Apple visionary.
You could forgive the twitterati for generalising on the cause of death but many official news reports continued to refer to his diagnosis as pancreatic cancer.
In fact, Jobs had been suffering from pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNET), a slow growing and rare cancer that is often confused with the more aggressive pancreatic cancer. This misinformation underlines the need for better awareness and understanding of NET cancers and is exactly what our client, NET Cancer Day, aims to do via a newly designed website and social media strategy which launches today.
Now in its second year, Worldwide NET Cancer Awareness Day (WNCAD – an informal partnership between NET organisations from around the world) aims to raise awareness about cancers called neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and the need for timely detection, diagnosis and treatment; bring hope to patients, their caregivers and families; and drive action. More than 50% of NET patients are incorrectly diagnosed and initially treated for the wrong disease, for three to seven years on average.
Why the zebra?
The zebra mascot is derived from the campaign’s zebra-striped ribbon logo. It stems from the fact, medical students in some countries are taught, “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras” to encourage them to think about the most likely and common cause of symptoms. However, this approach risks that rarer diseases like NET cancers (“zebras”) will be overlooked because the symptoms are similar to those of more common diseases such as Crohn’s, IBS, asthma or rosacea (“horses”).
Building on the first year’s success
Dusted were briefed on the redevelopment of the Worldwide NET Cancer Day website after being appointed in August and following the successful redesign of the NET Patient Foundation website (which represents patients and carers in the UK). In its first year, WNCAD received more than 5,000 signatures to their online proclamation and this year the target is for site visitors to show their support via a global map featuring the zebra mascot and a virtual journey around the world. Sharing this message via Facebook, Twitter and email is naturally a key part of support strategy.
Continuing with the global community theme (and social media aspect), another map element of the site aims to join people together from across the world in a global video event brought ‘live’ on the day itself – November 10. As the day moves west, video clips (pulled from YouTube) will become available to watch – from Singapore to Sweden, from the UK to the USA – visitors will see how the World NET Community is working together to raise awareness of NET cancers around the globe.
Photo credit: Flickr user wwarby
- Web Development.