• Josette Abruzzini

Praise & Celebrate Life!


Birthdays are meant to be celebrated, but this fast-paced world can make remembering them rather tedious. I’d love to share a little-known way of keeping track of each and every special date. It’s a birthday calendar!


“What’s that?” you ask.

A birthday calendar has lines for the dates instead of squares. You simply write the name of the person celebrating on that particular date. When you hang the calendar somewhere that’ll grab your attention – the back of a cabinet door, your desk area, or even in your laundry room – you’ll be reminded of the upcoming occasion. The best part is, at the end of the year you don’t need to rewrite the names and dates. It’s perpetual!


I first discovered birthday calendars in a Metropolitan Museum Shop at the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey. I was enchanted by the long and narrow pages that included a print of a painting and thirty or so numbered lines down the page. They soon became gifts of choice. I love it when I visit someone and see it hanging on a wall and filled with names of celebrants!


For a while I’ve wanted to create my own calendar, and I’m thrilled to say that I have! As part of the 2nd Anniversary celebration of Birdshot Uveitis Society of North America, a nonprofit I helped form during the pandemic, we have created a bird-themed birthday calendar fundraiser. We’re offering it as a gift; one for each $20 donation. The proceeds will go to Birdshot Research.

Of course, I had lots of help with the project. Over the winter, BUSNA board members helped shape and plan the fundraiser. In March we challenged “birdies”, as we call ourselves, to submit original photographs of birds. We ended up with 30 submissions and featured thirteen of them.


We also gathered a few quotations. We used an Amy Pohler quote for a sassy great blue heron, a Helen Keller quote for a flock of flamingos, and one from Harriet Tubman for a saying about reaching for the stars. It was a lot of fun choosing the right quotation for each image!

I recently wrapped up the project by working with Barry and Julie at Scranton Printing Company. They expertly arranged the images I’d prepared into a calendar format and helped me choose the best format. Barry and Julie added a subtle background to the date pages and even gave us two pages on which to share information about this rare autoimmune disease of the eye. I’ll pick up the calendars from Scranton Printing later this week!


You may be wondering about birdshot uveitis. It’s an inflammatory disease of the eye with a genetic component, but there is much that remains unknown. Because it affects fewer than one in every 200,000 people, and also because opticians and ophthalmologists rarely come across it, birdshot is often misdiagnosed. Caucasian women over the age of 40 are most often affected. If not treated properly, it can lead to vision loss and/or blindness.


I was diagnosed with birdshot three years ago and am happy to say that with determination, support, and a few amazing doctors, I’ve been able to manage it fairly well. My vision remains very good. From interactions with other birdies on various Facebook groups, I know that flare-ups can happen. I’m doing my best to keep things under control.

In the two years since becoming a 501(c)3 registered charity, BUSNA has contributed to birdshot research at research centers at The University of Montreal, Johns Hopkins University and at Washington University in St. Louis. It is continually establishing new connections with other research centers.


Beyond contributing to research, BUSNA is a source of information and support for those with birdshot uveitis. We hope to increase awareness of the disease and to improve the odds of proper diagnosis and treatment . For more information, you can visit our website at https://www.busna.org/.


If you would like to donate $20 (U.S. funds) to birdshot research and receive your own birthday calendar, please visit Calendar Donations! | BUSNA . It can be delivered to donors in both Canada and the United States and there is no fee for postage and handling.


Birthdays deserve to be celebrated and remembered. Let’s spread a few more of these special calendars around the world!


Whenever your birthday happens to be, may your next trip around the sun be everything you are hoping for!





P.S. Happy birthday Deby and Roseann!

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