NARCOLEPSY: NOT ALONE Visits the Dominican Republic

narcolepsy not alone dominican republic julie flygare narcolepsy spokesperson author project sleep founderLast week, I traveled to the Dominican Republic on vacation with my boyfriend. Knowing the Dominican Republic was not yet included in the NARCOLEPSY: NOT ALONE campaign, I was SO excited to personally add the 38th country to our amazing international photo series.

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In a rush to pack, I forgot my NARCOLEPSY: NOT ALONE paper sign, but it didn’t take me long to come up with a back-up plan! Alex had booked our vacation at an amazing all-inclusive resort that had beautiful cabana beds overlooking the beach.

Many people lounged on beds overlooking the beach, so on the first morning, I picked my spot and asked Alex to document my sand-sign-making adventure. As I began drawing, I noticed people sitting up and watching me. I tried not to think about this audience. 

Screen shot 2014-06-10 at 7.19.51 PM“You spelled it wrong!” Alex called down the cabana bed area. 

Omg, I’d forgotten the C in Narcolepsy.  Officially the world’s worst speller, I back-tracked to fix my error. Thankfully, sand is a forgiving medium. 😉  

Screen shot 2014-06-10 at 7.20.15 PM“Can you read it?” I yelled up to Alex.

He giggled. “Yeah, sweetie, it’s HUGE!”

I raised my arms up to the sun with joy and pride. Alex took a million photos for me and I returned back to the cabana bed area to cool down and take a nap.

Screen shot 2014-06-10 at 7.21.05 PMThat day, THREE different beach-goers approached me to ask about narcolepsy. This surprised me and reminded me that raising awareness isn’t always loud and clear. Sometimes, raising awareness is quiet and lonely, gaining momentum slowly like a distant ripple in the ocean that eventually becomes a powerful wave. With each new photo, I truly believe this campaign is a growing force to be reckoned with. Thank you for giving me the courage to build awareness in the sand.  Thank you Alex for an amazing vacation! 



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  1. Jill on June 11, 2014 at 2:48 am

    That’s the way to do it Julie!

    Enjoy your trip. That man of yours sounds like a keeper too! 😉

    Love, Jill

  2. Arnold Gendelman on June 11, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Hi……listen…….I thought of you Julie listening to the interview.
    Another champion hurdling over the high bar with ease.

    Bring bug spray, Clorox hand wipes. Use it everywhere. On utensils, cups and commode seats, no kidding…sorry but better safe . I spent seven years working the Caribbean. I know. This is high dengue mosquito season. Ask your doctor if you can manage Quinine tablets. He will tell you how to prepare yourself. Forgive me but, ask your doctor if you are current with tetanus shots. You know to drink and brush your teeth with bottled water. If the heat gets to you shake a little table salt into the palm of your hand, drop and mix in a glass of plain water. You could stand still on those islands and dehydrate. The island is a paradise, quite primitive in some parts . Enjoy every moment. Rest well, sleep well, travel safe….and smart.

  3. Arnold Gendelman on June 11, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    You’re still laughing

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