In just one week, over 20,000 people have viewed the narcolepsy infographic! Here’s how my dream became a reality.
After viewing many cool health and disease infographics this past year, I couldn’t help but wonder, “What about narcolepsy?”
This made me sad. Narcolepsy deserved an infographic too, but how? I wasn’t a graphic designer and my personal funds and free time were limited. I loved the work of a local graphic designer, Anthony Nesossis so I contacted him in April. Anthony was excited about the project. Hurray!
First, I researched other infographics to find what I liked and didn’t like. Next, I compiled narcolepsy facts. By the time I was done, I had 7 pages and hundreds of ideas.
How would I pick priorities? To be effective, only THE most essential facts could be included. It was painstaking process to narrow down my facts. By late May, I had 3 pages (still too much).
First, Anthony worked on overall design, themes, and colors. Then, we met for coffee to work on details in mid-June. This is where the infographic really came to life. I explained that excessive daytime sleepiness wasn’t always falling asleep in one’s soup, but more often fighting sleepiness. Anthony developed the adorable “Sleepy Sun”. For the diagnosis section – he had an ingenious idea of the U.S. map with a stethoscope around it.
It was important to me that the infographic have a strong visual of cataplexy because I find cataplexy’s definition hard to grasp and different from seeing cataplexy. Plus, cataplexy can be isolated muscle weakness or full body attack. Anthony and I developed the idea of displaying the full body attack and listing the various smaller muscle loss areas.
“How should I draw cataplexy?” Anthony asked. I tried explaining, but eventually laid down in the coffee shop mimicking a full body attack. Anthony took photos – which he used to create the amazing cataplexy likeness. I’m a cataplexy supermodel!
After our meeting, Anthony had his work cut out for him. He generously devoted so much time and creative energy to this project. On the 4th of July, I opened my email to find the most beautiful and powerful narcolepsy infographic! It far exceeded my wildest dreams.
Since unveiling the infographic last week, over 20,000 people have viewed it and over 600 people have shared via social media – including the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). In addition, one young woman will present on narcolepsy to her anatomy class this week using the infographic. I couldn’t be happier. Thank you all so much for sharing!
A big thank you to Anthony – for giving your heart and time to this project. Your work is magical!