Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

First-Ever “Autoimmune Walk” Campaign Launched by American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association

March 20, 2012

Actress Kellie Martin Invites People to “Link Together” and “Walk for a Cure”

DETROIT, March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The 50 million Americans who suffer from autoimmune disease now have the opportunity to get involved and find a cure through the first-ever national “Autoimmune Walk: Linking Together for a Cure” campaign sponsored by the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA).

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120320/DC72845)

Actress Kellie Martin, AARDA’s Autoimmune Walk Ambassador, is urging patients, their families and friends to join her as she, her family, and her friends participate in the walks.

“Autoimmune disease affected my family in a terrible way when I lost my sister and best friend, Heather, to lupus in 1998,” explains Kellie. “Since Heather’s death, I have worked with AARDA to raise awareness of autoimmune diseases. Now I have the opportunity to invite others who have been affected to join the fight – and walk.”

The Autoimmune Walks are being conducted “virtually” and locally in three U.S. cities. A virtual walk can be done by anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time that is convenient. The three local walks are scheduled for Metro Washington, D.C. (May 19), Metro Chicago (June 2) and New York Tristate (June 24).

“Autoimmune diseases run in families and they have a common thread that links them all together,” says Kellie. “This is an incredible opportunity for families touched by these diseases to ‘link together’ in support of autoimmune disease research and patient services.”

Autoimmune disease (AD) disproportionately affects women. Of the 50 million Americans living and coping with ADs, more than 75 percent – some 30 million – are women. AD is one of the top 10 leading causes of death of women under the age of 65. It encompasses more than 100 diseases, including type-1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune hepatitis, Sjogren’s, Crohn’s disease and lupus. It is responsible for more than $100 billion in direct health care costs annually.

For more information or to sign up for a walk, visit AutoimmuneWalk.org.

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) is the nation’s only non-profit organization dedicated to bringing a national focus to autoimmunity as a category of disease and a major women’s health issue and promoting a collaborative research effort in order to find better treatments and a cure for all autoimmune diseases. For more information, please visit www.aarda.org.

SOURCE American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA)

Source: PR Newswire