“Walk for Cure” Empowers Autoimmune Disease Community
Greater San Diego Chapter of Scleroderma Foundation Helps Launch Unique Video Campaign
SAN DIEGO, May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — San Diegans now have a national voice in raising awareness of scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease. Through the “Walk for Cure” video awareness campaign, scleroderma supporters can share their personal reasons for taking part in Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma walks via video messages. Some messages will be inspirational, some touching, some funny, but the goal of each video is to increase scleroderma awareness and provide hope and inspiration to the entire scleroderma community.
Walk for Cure and local scleroderma walks are joint efforts to raise money to fund research and provide support and education about this rare autoimmune disease. The Greater San Diego chapter will display their Walk for Cure videos at the upcoming 5K Walk & Family Fun Day on Sunday, June 24th at Shelter Island. One of the earliest Walk for Cure video submissions came from San Diego’s Holly Hauser, a scleroderma patient with two children. Holly explained, “Most people have never heard of this disease, yet it threatens my life. I was fortunate to receive an experimental adult stem cell transplant, which has been very beneficial. However, there are few effective treatments and no known cure for this devastating disease.”
Scleroderma is a chronic, often progressive, disease in which the immune system attacks its own body. Scleroderma literally means “hard skin.” It can cause a thickening and tightening of the skin. In some cases, it causes serious damage to internal organs including the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. As scarring, or sclerosis, of these organs and organ systems progresses, they work less effectively, and can lead to organ failure and death. Some medications and treatments can help with certain symptoms, but there is no cure for scleroderma. The disease affects over 300,000 people across the U.S.A.
Stephen Williams, a Board Member of the Scleroderma Foundation’s Greater San Diego chapter, explained, “I wanted to find a way to empower people affected by scleroderma. Walk for Cure gives everyone a vehicle to make a difference by sharing their personal stories of why they walk.” Williams worked with the Southern California chapter to develop the site. Williams added, “Many people walk to increase scleroderma research funding, some walk to increase awareness, and others walk to honor a loved one battling the disease. Walk for Cure brings us all together in a united yet personal voice to the world.”
SOURCE Scleroderma Foundation Greater San Diego