Newswise — NEW YORK, NY, July 23 — The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) will host an Autoimmune Weekend in September, presenting a free Public Forum — “What Every American Needs to Know About Autoimmune Disease” — on Saturday, 9/15 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the NYU Langone Center (550 First Avenue, Manhattan), and AARDA’s seventh annual “Linking Together for a Cure” Autoimmune Walk on Sunday, 9/16, from 1-5 p.m. at Hudson River Park, Pier 45, in Greenwich Village.  Anyone battling an autoimmune disease, or supporting someone in the fight, is invited to attend the Public Forum for free information and resources, and to Walk with family members, friends and AARDA to help raise awareness and funding for patient services and research. 

One in every five Americans (or 50 million people) has an autoimmune disease, such as lupus, type 1 diabetes, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Hashimoto’s, celiac, relapsing polychondritis, and more than 100 other chronic disorders that currently have no cures. 

Sponsored by Genentech and NYU Langone Health, the free Public Forum will feature experts on six autoimmune topics, including AARDA Executive Director Virginia Ladd on “What is Autoimmunity?”; Rita Baron-Faust, author and adjunct professor, St. Francis College, on “Women and Autoimmunity”; Robert Phillips, Ph.D., director of the Center for Coping on “Coping with Autoimmunity”; Dr. Meggan Mackay of The Feinstein Institute on “Autoimmune Disease and the Central Nervous System”; NYC Walk Ambassador and author Nika Beamon on “Being Your Own Best Advocate”; and Dr. Robert G. Lahita, chairman of medicine, St. Joseph’s Health, on “Autoimmunity and Diagnosis”. 

Participants will have an opportunity to pose questions to the experts and to gather valuable information and resources.  Lunch is provided at no cost to registered participants.  Register online at:

The New York Autoimmune Walk, led by Walk Ambassador Nika Beamon (TV writer/producer, ABC 7, and author of “Misdiagnosed:  The Search for Dr. House”), will feature autoimmune exhibitors and resources; live entertainment by singer-songwriter-musician Cory Singer (grand prize winner of Bravo TV’s competition, “The Kandi Factory”) and pop duo Danielle & Jennifer; a coffee bar provided by Nespresso; and a Warriors Walk around beautiful Pier 45. Funds raised by the Walk help to provide patient services and to fund research aimed at solving the underlying immune issues that link ALL autoimmune disorders. 

“AARDA Autoimmune Walks have proven to be instrumental not only in raising funds for autoimmune research but also in linking together patients, families, supporters, advocates and other stakeholders for a shared cause,” says Virginia T. Ladd, president and executive director.  “The camaraderie and synergy that occurs is just tremendous.”

To register for the Walk, make a donation, or for more details, visit, email [email protected] or call (855) 239-2557.

Established in 1991, AARDA is a national nonprofit dedicated to bringing a national focus to autoimmunity as a category of disease and a major women’s health issue – approximately 75 percent of autoimmune disease (AD) sufferers are women.  To learn more, visit


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