Shining the light on tube feeding
• 5-11 February 2023 is Feeding Tube Awareness Week
• Landmarks light up purple and blue in support
• #MyTubie stories shared to raise awareness and understanding
From 5-11 February 2023, national charity, ausEE Inc., is hosting Australasia’s Feeding Tube Awareness Week (FTAW). ausEE CEO and Founder, Sarah Gray OAM, invites the community to get involved to increase awareness and understanding in the community by raising some of the challenges faced and highlighting the day-to-day impact of tube feeding on individuals, carers and families.
There are many reasons why babies, children or adults may require tube feeding (or enteral nutrition), so food and fluids can get into their body if they are unable to eat/drink or unable to eat/drink enough. The two most common types of feeding tubes are a nasogastric tube (NG-tube), which is a tube that is inserted through the nose and runs down to the stomach and a gastrostomy tube (G-tube) which is inserted into the stomach through a small opening made in the abdominal wall.
ausEE Inc. is Australia’s peak national support and patient advocacy organization for eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases, just one condition, out of hundreds, that may require someone to have a feeding tube to meet their nutritional needs. Sarah Gray says, ‘Feeding Tube Awareness Week is celebrated each year to bring everyone together who has a feeding tube, whatever the reason may be.’
For the first time, during FTAW, Australian and New Zealand landmarks are lighting up purple and blue to raise awareness about tube feeding. ausEE gives thanks to the facilitators of around 85 landmarks, buildings and bridges that are showing their support for people with feeding tubes by illuminating. ausEE is encouraging people to get involved during FTAW by visiting the participating landmarks on the light up night/s and taking a photo to share on social media, using the hashtags #FTAW2023 and #TubieTuesday. A list of light up locations can be found at https://feedingtubeaware.com.au/raiseawareness/lightuplandmarks/.
Feeding Tube Awareness Week also offers an opportunity for people with feeding tubes to unite and share their lived experience to increase community understanding.
ausEE is sharing these insights through a collection of #MyTubie stories across social media and on their website at https://feedingtubeaware.com.au/raiseawareness/mytubiestories/. People are invited to share their own #MyTubie story on their social media.
Find out more about FTAW including information about tube feeding, practical resources, and support networks for Australasians living with feeding tubes at https://feedingtubeaware.com.au/. ausEE Inc. also fosters partnerships for resource sharing with other disability and patient advocacy organisations, uniting the tube feeding community.