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Why does the PI community identify with zebras?

You may be wondering why your friend or family member living with primary immunodeficiency disease (PI) calls themselves a zebra, wears zebra print clothing and says things like, “zebra strong!” This is because the PI community often strongly identifies with zebras based on an old saying that doctors learn in medical school.

Physicians are taught the saying, “when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras” and are taught to focus on the likeliest possibilities when making a diagnosis, not the unusual ones. However, sometimes physicians need to look for a zebra. People with PI are the zebras of the medical world. So IDF says THINK ZEBRA!

People with PI, along with their family and friends, can be seen wearing zebra clothes and using accessories adorned with black and white stripes. All ages identify with zebras, and it has been an especially good way for children with PI to describe their disease to others—they are like zebras.

Next time you are spreading PI awareness, but sure to THINK ZEBRA! You can wear your favorite zebra attire and post your photos to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Click here to download the THINK ZEBRA! logo.

So, who is TZ the IDF Zebra?

“TZ” from THINK ZEBRA! is the official mascot of the Immune Deficiency Foundation. TZ travels across the country to promote PI awareness and meet fellow zebras. Children, young and old, can’t help but smile when they see TZ, serving as a reminder to members of the PI community that they are not alone and together we are #zebrastrong. Follow TZ on Twitter or Instagram.

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