Support Groups for Pompe Disease and Their Importance

Support Groups for Pompe Disease and Their Importance
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Rare and chronic conditions such as Pompe disease can take an emotional toll on patients and caregivers on top of everything else. Between symptoms such as muscle weakness and fatigue, and feelings of isolation, coping can be a challenge. It may seem as if hardly anyone understands what you are going through. Pompe disease support groups may be able to help.

What is Pompe disease?

Pompe disease is a genetic disorder characterized by the abnormal buildup of a sugar molecule called glycogen inside cells. This buildup impairs the proper working of different organs and tissues, especially the heart, respiratory, and skeletal muscles.

There are three main types of Pompe disease, each differing based on the age of onset and severity. They are: classic infantile-onset, non-classic infantile-onset, and late-onset Pompe disease.

Whether you’re a Pompe patient or a caregiver of someone with the disease, you may find it helpful to talk with others who are going through the same thing.

What are support groups?

Support groups consist of people facing similar challenges who meet, in person or virtually, to give support, share practical advice, and offer encouragement to each other. Groups usually are run by members and can be attended by both patients and their families — though some may be tailored specifically to only patients or just caregivers. Most meet regularly, while others may meed only as needed. Almost all are meeting online nowadays due to restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep in mind that support groups do not take the place of counseling with a trained professional.

Would a support group be a good fit for me?

Support groups may not be for everyone. Some people may feel uncomfortable talking in a larger group and may prefer a smaller one, or vice versa. If you feel uneasy, consider attending a few times before deciding whether to continue. Look for a support group that works for you. Ask yourself whether you prefer structure and would enjoy having a group leader, or whether you’d like a less formal group.

Finding a support group

Ask your physician, counselor, or other healthcare professional for suggestions. You also can ask your friends who might know, or go directly to other individuals who have Pompe disease. Your local library or community center also may be able to help. Finally, you might want to check social media platforms for Pompe support groups or patient organizations.

Support groups and related resources

Following is a list of some Pompe disease support groups or resources globally that may connect you with other families affected by the disease:

 

Last updated: Nov. 24,  2020

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Pompe Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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