WOB: Hello Martin, please introduce yourself.
MN: My name is Martin Norrman and I live in Sweden with my family. I´m 40 years old and I’m a very active person. It helps me to feel better with my three diseases: diabetes 1, Graves & Addison’s disease.
WOB: You’re suffering from three diseases, but the reason of our talk is Team Addison. It is related to the most rare disease of these that you have – Addison’s disease. Why did you start this project?
MN: To spread awareness about Addison’s disease in Sweden and globally. Our mission is to reach out with information and knowledge to increase the knowledge in healthcare to save lives. We continue our journey and need help and sponsors to do so. This disease is rare and only one of 100 000 gets it. That makes our mission even more important for those who get it. Our problem is that very few care and want to help just because of its unusualness. Thanks to our friend and Panasonic ambassador Martin Wallgren we make cycling films about life with Addison’s disease. Our teasers reach 80 countries worldwide every time and in January we will release our first film. The film is made in the Norwegian mountains where three cyclists from Team Addison are cycling. There is a lot of ups and downs in the mountains, just like the life with the disease. We believe the film will reach over 100 countries in social media, Youtube and Vimeo.
WOB: What is Addison’s disease actually?
MN: Addison’s disease is a disorder that occurs when your body produces insufficient amounts of certain hormones produced by your adrenal glands. In Addison’s disease, your adrenal glands produce too little cortisol and often insufficient levels of aldosterone as well. We need to take cortisone pills for the rest of our lives to survive. I was diagnosed after I woke up from a 4-day long coma. The doctors couldn’t understand what was wrong so I was slowly starting to die. The last day they gave me salt and I reacted positively and soon I understood that I had Addison’s. If they had had better knowledge they would have understood it the first day and that’s what I’m fighting for today. If you want to visit our official website it’s www.addison.se
WOB: Please tell something about your experience of the disease, the coma and how it influences your everyday life.
MN: It has a great impact on my life. I must take my cortisone pills every day and avoid stress situations. When you get stressed, you must take extra cortisone to avoid getting an Addison crisis. If it happens, stress takes all cortisone from our body and you can die. It’s a very hard situation for my family to live with when they see me feeling bad. I’m so lucky to be married to a very understanding, helpful and beautiful wife. To be active is very difficult for many with the disease. They can’t be active at all or must take extra cortisone pills. Today my body is used to such an active life so I can handle it very well. I cycle 100-150 km every week.
WOB: How the Association helps people with the disease?
MN: We publish news at our website and Facebook. We answer and help people that need it through social media or phone. It’s important to be there for them when someone needs you. It’s extra important when you have a rare disease and can’t get other help. We don’t want anyone with Addison’s to be alone with it. Our chairman Eva is visiting hospitals and informs about the disease and I do the most of the social media and Team Addison.
WOB: You were jogging for many years, but the project is about cycling. Why?
MN: For many years, I was jogging to keep fit, but during the last four years it has more or less turned into a biking experience. I started to design biking clothing, cycling kits to spread the name and advertise for the Swedish Addison association. My motto is “as long as we’re seen, we exist”. Lately my clothing design has expanded into gym and biking race outfits. I started to cycling because it’s better for the knees and the whole body. You see more of the nature and just have a lot of mindfulness.
WOB: Do you have any recognized cyclists in your team?
MN: We have some famous Swedish TV-personalities but not any very famous. We wish we could get famous people to our Team that can spread awareness. The former president of the USA, J.F. Kennedy had Addison’s disease but not many knows that.
MN: I saw her in some modelling pictures from our area with the photographer Tomas Gillberg. I asked her if she was interested in modelling in our cycling kit and she was. I do everything 100% and therefore I needed a great looking person that people want to look at and great pictures that Tomas takes. I know, the more people get interested in the picture, the more awareness we can spread. All the photos we took earlier were only been of myself but I also needed a girl in the cycling kit so there where a number of reasons. Emelie is a fantastic person and we will work with her more in future. She has a great career and has been in Miss Universe contest.
WOB: How can one join the Team? Is it open for everybody?
MN: Anyone can join our team. The more people cycle in our clothes the more awareness will be spread. That will make the disease more known and it will have a great impact on health care.
WOB: What are your plans for 2017?
MN: We will release our first cycling film about the disease worldwide in January. In February we will make a new order of cycling clothes and we will cycle in a lot of races to be seen. Otherwise we will continue with spreading information through our social media. You can reach us and see our films at www.teamaddison.se news or our Facebook page
WOB: What can I wish you in the new year?
MN: I wish more want to help us spread awareness through our cycling clothes and use them in races. They will be proud members and representing Team Addison. I also hope companies want to donate to our association and be seen with their logo on our cycling clothes. It’s great commercial for them, and at the same time they help to spread awareness and they´ll be seen in our films global.
WOB: Thank you for the talk. I wish you all the best!