Any modern-day social media user sees “World XYZ Day” and “National XYZ Month” celebrated online constantly. These obscure holidays may be amusing to participate in, but they are weakening the importance of national health awareness months.

Other than Star Wars Day on May the 4th (be with you), the names and dates of these holidays seem arbitrary. Whether it is appreciating your sibling, pet, left-handed friend or lemonade, it is flaunted online. There is nothing wrong with appreciating everyday luxuries, like your dog or drinking lemonade, but what about the national holidays that existed long before National Pig Day (March 1) and No Socks Day (May 8)?

What about awareness months that matter, and, if spread, could create pivotal change in disease research and drug development? Arbitrary holidays like Hug Your Cat Day (June 4) are being classified as “national” or “official,” and that is weakening the importance and criticality of awareness months that support health causes – like cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and extensive lung damage – a lifelong challenge most people cannot even imagine. Over 30,000 people are living with cystic fibrosis in the U.S., including myself, and 1,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Raising awareness is urgently important!

May is National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, along with Pet Month, Self Discovery Month, Social Media Month and 29 others, according to lists online. Will cystic fibrosis awareness break through the clutter of pet posts? Maybe, maybe not.

Each spring I work hard to raise money for and spread awareness of cystic fibrosis, but it is hard to get a message across when the web is constantly flooding with information.

Let’s break through the clutter of social media, this May and every month, by supporting and spreading disease awareness.

Hogan Reed