The Scleroderma Foundation Announces June as 'Scleroderma Awareness Month' PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 June 2010 20:54
Dedicated to serving the needs of those whose lives have been impacted by scleroderma through its three-fold mission of support, education and research, the Scleroderma Foundation is proud to announce June as "Scleroderma Awareness Month."  During June Scleroderma Awareness Month, the Foundation focuses on efforts to advance awareness about scleroderma to a variety of audiences on local and national levels, including medical professionals, caregivers, and the many patients and their family members who battle this severe, yet largely unknown, autoimmune disease each and every day.

Throughout the month of June, the Foundation's national network of 22 chapters and 145 support groups will host a variety of events to both generate awareness and to raise funds to support the work and mission of the Foundation.  The Foundation's signature event, "Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma" walk-a-thons, will be held in more than 44 communities across the country with an estimated 12,000 participants.

Scleroderma is a progressive autoimmune disease – like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis – in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues, causing the over-production of collagen (the primary component of scar tissue) in the body.  This excess collagen takes over healthy cells in the body's organ systems causing scarring (sclerosis) of the skin and often the internal organs, most commonly the heart, lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract.  Scleroderma primarily affects women, but men and children also suffer from the disease.  

"The National Institutes of Health reported that incidences of autoimmune disease, which includes scleroderma, are steadily on the rise," notes Robert Riggs, Scleroderma Foundation chief executive officer. "It is therefore important that we continue to foster greater awareness about scleroderma and those who are affected by this debilitating disease."

Scleroderma patient and advocate, Pat Gould has lived with scleroderma for eight years and knows firsthand what it is like to face the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of the disease.  Yet thanks to continued awareness and educational initiatives spearheaded by the Scleroderma Foundation, Pat, and other patients like her, has learned how to cope with the seemingly insurmountable challenges brought on by the disease.  "Coping with a devastating, and sometimes life-threatening disease can be overwhelming.  It's even more difficult when the disease, like scleroderma, is largely unknown and little understood," says Gould. "The first step towards battling scleroderma begins with making everyone aware of, and informed about, the realities of the disease and the many complications faced by those who are affected by it. Knowledge empowers us all and gives us the ability to fight for our health and the freedom to hope for a cure."  

With some 300,000 people, like Pat, living with scleroderma in the U.S., the need could not be greater for increased funding for scleroderma research. In 2010, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that it will award $22 million for scleroderma-related research.  The NIH has also allocated $3 million to date for scleroderma research from a $10 billion special appropriation it received as part of the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act." Additionally, Congress has designated scleroderma as a condition eligible for funding under the Department of Defense's $50 million Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program in 2010.

The Scleroderma Foundation is proud to be the leading nonprofit organization funding scleroderma-related research through a peer-review process modeled after the guidelines set forth by the National Institutes of Health. Each year, the Foundation makes available at least $1 million to researchers working to find new and better treatments and a cure.

Source: Yahoo! News

 
More articles :

» The Incidence Of Prostate Cancer Higher In Men With Autoimmune Diseases

Men with autoimmune diseases have a higher incidence of (PCa) than those without those diseases, according to study findings presented at the annual meeting.Using the National Inpatient Sample database, researchers obtained data on 189,290 men...

» Skin Autofluorescence Is Not Increased in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis

M. E. Hettema, H. Bootsma, R. Graaff, R. de Vries, C. G. M. Kallenberg, and A. J. SmitReceived 24 May 2011; Accepted 8 August 2011Vascular involvement is a key factor in major manifestations of systemic sclerosis (SSc), such as Raynaud’s...

» Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass refers to the young grass of the common plant, , that is freshly juiced or dried into powder for animal and human consumption. Both provide , , minerals, vitamins, and . Wheat grass along with , , oat grass and are many times referred...

» Our First Year Anniversary

Celebrating an important anniversary is always a blessing. The Scleroderma Care Foundation was officially incorporated on 15th October 2008. Its mission to provide support and education for persons afflicted with within Trinidad and Tobago became a...

» Geneticists Hunt for Scleroderma Triggers

In all its forms, gives Dartmouth geneticist Michael Whitfield, his graduate students, and his postdoctoral researchers a sense of urgency in their search for the triggers of the chronic condition. In a study that the Journal of Investigative...

» Erectile Dysfunction Drug Could Improve Raynaud’s Symptoms Associated with Scleroderma

Adding tadalafil (Cialis®; Adcirca®) to the treatment of people with can improve ’s phenomenon symptoms and heal and prevent hand and finger associated with it, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology...