In 1974, the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation, a health advocacy organization, was incorporated as a 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to eradicate the incidence of Reye’s Syndrome.
You can learn more about the Foundation’s beginnings, our many accomplishments, and the story about Reye’s at our Facebook Timeline.
The Foundation supports 3 critical areas:
- Reye’s Syndrome Awareness and Education Programs
- Services to the Families touched by Reye’s Syndrome
- Research into the Cause and Cure for Reye’s Syndrome
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Reye’s Syndrome, so most of our efforts to eradicate this disease has to be in Educating and promoting Awareness. Our largest program is our Annual School Mailing.
Each year we reach out to 136,000 schools nationwide with Reye’s Syndrome literature, brochures, and flyers. These are then sent home to parents, reminding them of the dangers of Reye’s Syndrome and the use of aspirin and aspirin products.
In the early 1980’s, when it was discovered that aspirin products could trigger Reye’s Syndrome, through the help of research funded by the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation, we immediately pressed the FDA and Congress to apply warning labels to all aspirin packaging. With the help of the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, we distributed Reye’s Syndrome educational materials to schools, hospitals and doctors across the US. We developed Reye’s Syndrome teaching materials for Doctors and Nurses, so they would know how to diagnose and treat the disease.
Due to these efforts, the incidence of Reye’s has dropped dramatically. But our work is not done.
In 2011, we finally convinced the aspirin manufacturers to drop the word “baby” from all aspirin packaging. This was a major milestone for the Foundation, and for children. There is no longer a product called ‘baby aspirin’, it is now low-dose aspirin, and parents won’t misinterpret the product as being safe for infants and children. More children’s lives will be saved, just through this one huge accomplishment.
And we are not done. The office phones still ring with frantic parents on the line who did not realize the danger of giving their child aspirin until after the fact. We hear from grandparents who have forgotten about Reye’s. We get calls from dads who were not present when the pediatrician warned mom about not giving aspirin to children.
Then there is the Teens and Tweens Self-medicating issue. They self-diagnose, they share medications, they choose aspirin because they think it is the ‘safe, wonder drug’ promoted as such on TV, Radio, and the Internet. After all, they see mom and dad taking it all the time. What they don’t realize are the number of documented Reye’s Syndrome cases we see in the fourteen to nineteen year old age group! Most did not survive.
We deal with the Chickenpox Parties issue every year. Well meaning parents don’t realize that when they sign up for a Chickenpox party, whether on their block, or on line, they gamble the life of their child. That swab or sucker is contaminated with someone else’s body fluids, and then given to a well child, or perhaps an autoimmune compromised child. The horrors evident with this practice can be learned about on our Chickenpox page.
The Internet offers its own set of issues, from all the myths, herbal remedies that contain pure salicylate (aspirin), such as willow bark meadow sweet, and Neem, to incorrect data and directions about dealing with Reye’s and aspirin.
We stay very busy. Yet we can not do what we do, we can not eradicate this disease without your help and support.
Our Board of Directors are all volunteers, as is our Board of Trustees, Scientific Advisory Board, and Medical Director. Our Administrative Assistant is the only employee of the Foundation. 98 cents of every dollar we raise goes to Reye’s Syndrome Education and Awareness Programs. 2 cents of every dollar goes to administrative programs and needs such as postage, paper and ink.
We do not use 3rd party fundraisers, and we do not telemarket for donations. We do not seek government funding. We rely solely on those kind hearted donors who support the mission to eradicate this disease.
We hope that you will support us, too. If you found your answers on this site, if you were educated and made more aware, we ask that you share that information and education with others. We ask you to pass the word; Kids and Aspirin Products Don’t Mix!.
Your donation, and or, membership will keep our life-saving programs in effect.