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Trypanophobia Awareness: Gold Award project by Diana B.



Through her project, Diana effectively raised awareness about needle phobia (trypanophobia), offering valuable resources and solutions for patients and medical offices. Her initiative included providing tools like the Buzzy Bee to her own doctor's office, alongside launching a dedicated website, www.trypanophobiaawareness.com, to disseminate information and support. By leveraging her personal experience with the issue, she made a significant impact, alleviating the challenges faced by those afflicted with needle phobia.


Here's what Diana has to say about her Gold Award experience.


Why you chose your project:

There are people worldwide who suffer from trypanophobia.  The fear of needles is a contributor to these individuals avoiding getting needed vaccines through this medium. This can result in negatively impacting their personal and public health as essential vaccines can have the benefit of reducing the spread of diseases. 


My journey with trypanophobia awareness started with my eldest brother who has been diagnosed with autism.  My siblings and I receive annual flu shots at our pediatrician’s office, where there were previously no coping tools available for children who struggle with trypanophobia.  I have watched my brother in the past, being physically restrained when receiving vaccines and blood draws as a child. 


My Gold Award aimed to spread awareness on trypanophobia, empowering people by letting them know they are not alone, also sharing coping solutions with medical staff and others to help reduce anxiety for improved mental health and wellness outcomes.  Obtaining health care should not be a traumatic experience. 



How completing your Gold Award project impacted you:

Growing up in Girl Scouts, I always knew that the Gold Award was something to strive for. 


I found that I enjoy advocating for people who struggle to effectively communicate their phobias or have special needs.  This was my second highest awards project focused on helping people who can benefit from having special accommodations.

 

I also learned that I can overcome big obstacles and achieve my goals.  Among other obstacles, my personal health stalled my project timeline for months at a time, when I struggled just to attend school and complete my schoolwork.  I did use some of my medical appointments to test coping techniques in reducing pain from needle injections for research on my project.


Beginning my project before my sophomore year really helped me, by allowing plenty of time to complete my project before my senior year. 


What being a Girl Scout means to you:

Growing up in Girl Scouts has helped build my confidence with my speech articulation, through speaking with customers and public speaking opportunities like with GSCO’s “Media Star” team. 


Being in Girl Scouts has given me opportunities that I might not have had otherwise like traveling to Savannah (GSUSA birthplace), Europe, becoming a certified camp counselor, and trying multiple outdoor adventure activities such as ice climbing, rock rappelling, rock climbing, backpacking, and more. 


I grew up in scouting.  It is pretty much in my DNA.

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