Chicago, Ill. (June 2003) – The Simon Foundation for Continence recently launched “I Am More,” the first anti-stigma song. “I Am More” will be used as the theme song for the Foundation’s anti-stigma in healthcare campaign. This song was recently premiered at The Simon Foundation’s June 2003 International Conference on Stigma in Healthcare, and was also highlighted at a Town Meeting on Stigma, the Foundation’s black tie Gala held at the Chicago Historical Society, and at the Jim Mullen Foundation’s first New Freedom Awards Celebration Gala held a the Grand Ballroom on Navy Pier in Chicago on July 22, 2003.
“I Am More” is part of a program the Foundation is initiating for schools to help teach children to create a world that is stigma free. Many other anti-stigma projects, including the first Anti-Stigma Awards, will be part of the Foundation’s efforts to decrease the stigma surrounding health conditions, first and foremost to be that of the stigma surrounding incontinence. The song’s inspiring lyrics and catchy melody have already moved many listeners to tears.
“This is exactly the effect that I had hoped for,” stated Cheryl Gartley, President and Founder of The Simon Foundation for Continence and co-author of the lyrics for “I Am More.” “It is long past time that society realizes the terrible impact of stigmatizing another human being.”
The anti-stigma song is the creation of Ed and Gaia Tossing, a Chicago and Memphis based husband and wife team. Their compositions have been chosen as the songs for various world changing events including the song, “Open Your Heart America” created for the National Bicentennial Celebration of the Constitution. The Tossings’ work has garnered 19 national awards, including three EMMY awards for their “Sing ‘n Sign” PBS television special. As in all their songs, Gaia signs “I Am More” whenever she performs it.
The chorus of “I Am More” speaks to everyone, people with disabilities, chronic health conditions, and the able bodied:
I am more than you can see
There are dreams inside of me
I have all my dignity
This is my reality.
One by one we’ll reach the day
When each of us can turn and say
Whatever changes we go through
I’m still me and you’re still you.
“I Am More” is available on CD from The Simon Foundation for Continence, Post Office Box 815, Wilmette, Illinois 60091 for $5.00.
The Simon Foundation for Continence is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is “to bring the topic of incontinence out of the closet, remove the stigma surrounding it, and provide help and hope to individuals with incontinence, their families, and the health professionals who provide their care.”