Project Sleep will launch “Rising Voices of Narcolepsy,” a leadership training program to help people with narcolepsy effectively share their stories through public speaking and writing with local communities, healthcare providers, news outlets, blogs, and beyond.

According to a Project Sleep enewsletter, the program will “serve the dual purpose of fostering a new generation of narcolepsy patient-advocates spreading awareness while also empowering participants. Personal stories of health and illness are invaluable public education tools. Audiences are much more likely to empathize and retain information when it is delivered by someone with lived experience, giving a real ‘face’ to medical terminology and statistics. Moreover, for those with ‘invisible illnesses’ like narcolepsy, sharing one’s story is a powerful way to find connection, validation and understanding. Participants will not only gain valuable communication skills, but will also build confidence in their unique and important stories.”

The first set of training sessions, with both online and in-person options, are planned for the summer of 2017. Applications will be accepted in spring 2017. To be considered for the program, applicants must be age 18 or older and diagnosed with narcolepsy. Project Sleep will evaluate qualified applicants based on enthusiasm and capability and aim to have a diverse set of participants that represents a wide range of demographics and backgrounds. Selected participants will be able to choose a public speaking track or a writing track. If you would like to be notified when more information is available, please fill out the interest form.