Newswise — DETROIT, March 23, 2016 -- American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) continues its 25th Anniversary celebration with the launch of its yearlong Autoimmune Heroes campaign, naming actress Kellie Martin and actress Haley Ramm and her mother, Barbara Ramm, as the first #AutoimmuneHeroes for their impact in fostering public education and raising public awareness of autoimmune disease (AD).

#AutoimmuneHeroes recognizes the work of individuals and organizations that have advanced the autoimmune disease agenda in the areas of research, patient safety, advocacy, public education and awareness, service and volunteerism, among others.

In honoring Kellie Martin (@kelliemartin), AARDA cites her nearly two decades of dedication to the organization, serving as its celebrity spokesperson, participating in countless media interviews, speaking at public forums, headlining special events, advocating on Capitol Hill, filming public service announcements and enlisting her friends and family to support the cause.

AARDA salutes actress Haley Ramm (@halesbells) and her mother Barbara Ramm (@BarbeeVintage), an autoimmune disease patient herself, for their intense commitment, spearheading the first-ever Los Angeles Autoimmune Walk which raised over $100,000 for research and awareness in its inaugural year. In addition, Haley enlisted the cast of ABC Family’s Chasing Life to have a pillow fight in pajamas on camera to raise awareness of the link between fatigue and autoimmune disease.

”We at AARDA are immensely fortunate to have the pleasure of working with these three intelligent, talented and passionate women, all of whom continually work to raise awareness of autoimmunity and autoimmune disease to make life better for the 50 million Americans who suffer from these diseases and their families,” said Virginia Ladd, founder and executive director, AARDA (@AARDATweets). “We cannot thank these autoimmune heroes enough.”

Most recently Kellie and Haley joined forces to launch AARDA’s #25for25 fundraising campaign.#25for25 invites individuals and organizations the world over to recognize AARDA’s achievements on behalf of people with autoimmune disease and support its work going forward by donating $25 to the organization (

Each month for the next 12 months, AARDA will be announcing its #AutoimmuneHeroes. Over the last 25 years, these heroes – both individuals and organizations – have proved critical to helping AARDA become the national organization it is today, while positively impacting the lives of the 50 million Americans with AD and their families.

About American Autoimmune Related Diseases AssociationCelebrating its 25th anniversary, 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

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