May 6th was Wishbone Day, an international awareness day for Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Also known as “brittle bone disease”, Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) is a group of genetic disorders that mainly affect the bones, resulting in bones that break easily. In order to mark the day, Beijing’s “China Doll” Center for Rare Disorders carried out a “5·6 Charity Walk” event in Chaoyang Park. Over a dozen of the center’s friends and other sufferers of rare diseases joined about 300 citizens, other volunteers and reporters for the event.
Activities including “fast walking with china dolls”, ”questions and answers on Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI)” and “experiencing disability” were organized for the occasion. Each team received an “OI Knowledge Answer Card” before starting the fast walking activity, and answered the questions during the walk. They were also allowed to seek help from other friends through WeChat or Weibo. In the session on experiencing disability, participants were blindfolded, and relied only on blind sticks and the help of friends to complete the entire walk. One participant said: “being blindfolded my sense of security dropped instantly, and at first I thought it was fun, but actually I felt a lot of obstacles and I needed help from other partners. This experience was very meaningful.”
After nearly two hours the OI patients, though wheelchair-bound, successfully completed the 5 km walk like the other participants. The activity aimed at raising people’s awareness of the China Doll Center and encouraging awareness and support for OI patients through a healthy walk.