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When is this day? September 23

What is this day? Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) is a rare but serious condition. We do not know yet what is causing AFM, but we are 90% sure it is caused by a virus. It is polio like and 90% of those affected first had the common cold. It is currently paralyzing hundreds of people every other year in the USA. It affects the nervous system, specifically the area of the spinal cord called gray matter, which causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak.

It is more common in children affecting 90% and 10% of adults. 40% of those affected by AFM have Acute Respiratory Failure.

This day is being established in order to educate the public as this deadly disease is emerging. Numbers are rising every other year in the even years. Since 2012 the numbers have continued to emerge. AFM is a life threatening and a debilitating disease. In 2018 two children succumbed to the disease.

There is currently no cure for Acute Flaccid Myelitis. Knowing the signs and symptoms of AFM will help save a child’s life. Awareness is key to this deadly virus.

Who created this day? This day was created by LaMay Ann Axton for those affected by Acute Flaccid Myelitis. 

How should this day be celebrated or observed?

  1. Lobby your elected leaders requesting action to fund for research to help find the cure for AFM.
  2. Organize a march through your community – Create a Sea of Blue.
  3. Hand out National AFM Day (Be A Voice/We Need A Cure) brochures educating the public, Hospitals, schools, all throughout your community.
  4. Wear your National AFM Day (Be A Voice/We Need A Cure Shirt)
  5. Host a National AFM Day (Be A Voice/We Need A Cure Dinner)
  6. Attend a sporting event with a group, all wearing your National AFM Day (Be A Voice/We Need A Cure Shirt)
  7. Update your social media accounts Representing National AFM Day (Be A Voice/We Need A Cure)
  8. Help support those affected by AFM by donating to the Acute Flaccid Myelitis Association at