Newswise — The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) will host its first “Linking Together for a Cure” Autoimmune Walk in Oklahoma City on Saturday, March 24, at Wiley Post Park (2021 S. Robinson Avenue) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Helping to shine a light on this effort is Walk Ambassador Jeff George, KOKH Fox 25 Chief Meterologist.

“March is National Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month, and through this event, Jeff is helping to raise much needed awareness,” says Virginia T. Ladd, AARDA president and executive director.  “And that awareness will empower patients to get earlier diagnoses and treatment.”

There are more than 100 autoimmune diseases — diseases that have no cures  affecting one in every five Americans.  AARDA works to bring a national focus to autoimmunity as a category of disease and a major women’s health issue; 75 percent of those affected are women.

Local Walk Coordinator Pebbles Smith is challenged with rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes, yet volunteered to help bring a Walk to Oklahoma City. 

“I’m rejoicing that many have registered already and committed to this great cause that affects so many people – including me,” says Smith.  “I’m so looking forward to meeting them all on March 24.”

The OKC Autoimmune Walk will feature a speaker courtesy of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation; information and resource tables; activities for children, a family-friendly DJ, and a Walk along the River Trail.

To register, Walk or donate, visit or call (855) 239-2557.

For more about AARDA, visit and


Deb Patrick, AARDA National Walk Coordinator

[email protected]

(586) 776-3900, ext. 60

Pebbles Smith, OKC Walk Coordinator

[email protected]

(405) 778-8222