Credit unions raise awareness of dangerous disease

Credit unions take action to educate the public and medical community about Moyamoya Disease on May 6 Awareness Day

BURLINGTON, MA (May 2, 2024) — Monday, May 6, 2024, is the second year of observance of Moyamoya Disease Awareness Day in Massachusetts, and Credit Unions Kids at Heart®, a Massachusetts-based 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and its participating credit unions will again organize awareness-raising activities throughout the Commonwealth.

Research on Moyamoya disease, conducted at Boston Children’s Hospital and steered by Dr. Edward Smith, a global leader in the study of Moyamoya and the most experienced surgeon for this condition, is one of the fundraising initiatives that the charitable organization supports.  This year, the organization has rallied credit unions and their communities to help call attention to this dangerous condition with bridge and building lightings, fundraising challenges, workplace observances and in-branch displays, and social media posts.  In fact, a proclamation denoting May 6 as Moyamoya Disease Awareness Day in Massachusetts by Governor Maura Healey has promoted similar proclamations and participation in local municipalities.

Moyamoya disease is a rare and progressive neurological disease in which the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain narrow, greatly reducing blood flow.  “Moyamoya” means “puff of smoke,” which describes how the blood vessels look on an X-ray or other medical imaging.  If left untreated, Moyamoya can lead to severe strokes that can cause long-term effects including cognitive and sensory impairments, communication disorders, visual disturbances, behavioral problems.  It may even be fatal.

It is important to know the signs of Moyamoya because early diagnosis and intervention can radically affect a patient’s prognosis.  In young children, the disease may present as stroke symptoms, such as slurred speech, headaches, and seizures.  In young or older adults, it may also cause bleeding in the brain. For both children and adults, surgery is the only way to reduce the risk of stroke, but, if treated surgically, patients have an excellent recovery rate and go on to lead normal, active lives.

To learn more about Moyamoya disease and research initiatives, please go to .


Additional activities are being added daily.  For the most up-to-date list, please visit the Credit Unions Kids at Heart website at

Now through Monday, May 6, 2024

  • Digital Billboard:  The DCU Center will recognize Moyamoya Day through May 6, 2024, on their digital signage outside of the Center Arena and Convention Center at 50 Foster Street in Worcester, MA.
  • Credit Union Promotions and Fundraising Challenges: Credit Unions Kids at Heart Participating Credit Unions and Corporate Sponsors will raise awareness with their employees, members, and customers in various ways, including, but not limited to, fundraising challenges, sharing educational resources online and on social media, distributing informational flyers, and more.

Monday, May 6, 2024

  • Workplace Observances:  Businesses throughout Massachusetts, including Credit Unions Kids at Heart Participating Credit Unions and Corporate Sponsors, will recognize the day in various ways, including, but not limited to, fundraising challenges, wearing light blue clothing, sharing educational resources, and more.
  • Digital Billboard:  The IBEW Local 103 union will recognize Moyamoya Day on Monday, May 6 on the digital billboard at their headquarters on Freeport Street in Dorchester.  The billboard faces the well-trafficked interstate 93.
  • Proclamations: Official proclamations recognizing May 6 as Moyamoya Awareness Day have been made by Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey and local mayors.  Please see the website for the current list of participating cities and towns.
  • 98.5 The Sports Hub Radio Spots:  Longtime Credit Unions Kids at Heart media partner 98.5 The Sports Hub will run public awareness campaign spots all day.  During the last New England Patriots football season, Credit Unions Kids at Heart partnered with the station and with offensive guard Cole Strange for its First Downs to Fight Moyamoya Disease initiative.  For every first down by New England’s offense, Credit Unions Kids at Heart donated toward promising Moyamoya studies conducted at Boston Children’s Hospital.
  • Bridge and Municipal Building Lightings:  Look for buildings and bridges, including Boston’s tallest standing building, the Prudential Tower, bathed in blue on Monday, May 6!  Please see the website for the current list of participating cities and towns.
  • Boston Children’s Hospital Lights Up in Blue:  The main entrance of Boston Children’s Hospital at 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, will light up in blue and signs of support will greet the medical teams, patients, and their families in the Moyamoya Program facilities on the 6th floor.

Friday, May 10, 2024

  • Annual Boston Children’s Hospital Moyamoya Disease Symposium:  Held virtually, this conference will feature international experts from Boston Children’s Hospital (Massachusetts, US), Beth Israel Lahey Health (Massachusetts, US), Dartmouth Health (New Hampshire, US), The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, CA), and Great Ormond Street Hospital (London, UK).  Sessions cover a range of topics from genetics to treatments, risk to outcomes.  Learn more or register at

About Credit Unions Kids at Heart

Credit Unions Kids at Heart was founded in 1996 by Eastern Corporate Federal Credit Union (EasCorp) and a small group of Massachusetts credit unions to leverage the collective impact of credit union charitable efforts and as a reflection of the industry’s belief in collaboration in service of a greater good.  Today, Credit Unions Kids at Heart is a favorite philanthropic activity of the credit union community in New England and beyond, with more than 50 participating credit unions, corporate sponsors, and other business partners.  As one of its fundraising initiatives, the organization sponsors a team that receives charitable bibs to run the Boston Marathon on behalf of Boston Children’s Hospital.  The organization and its dedicated supporters are presently committed to funding research activities aimed at the prevention, treatment, and/or cure of pediatric neurological diseases. Since its founding, Credit Unions Kids at Heart has donated over $9 million toward its mission to help children live healthy and happy lives.  To learn more, please visit


Robin DeBlosi
VP, Marketing and Communications, EasCorp • 800.428.1144, Ext. 3350

Jane C. Melchionda
Chairman, Credit Unions Kids at Heart®

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