Newswise — The Vasculitis Foundation, the world's largest organization dedicated to providing advocacy, education, and support for people with vasculitis, announces the release of a new video “Connect the Dots” that’s intended to raise awareness within the medical community about the disease. 

Vasculitis is a condition that involves inflammation in the blood vessels. This may happen as the result of an infection, a medicine, or another disease or condition.

The short, animated video is part of the VF's overall campaign for Vasculitis Awareness Month 2018.

It’s not uncommon for months or even years to pass before individuals are accurately diagnosed. Unfortunately, misdiagnoses often occur, followed by ineffective treatment. The result is that severe organ damage can occur because of the progression of the vasculitis.

The idea for the video came from Karen Hirsch, president of the VF Board of Directors.  For her, educating doctors about the rare condition is personal.  Her son, Michael, was diagnosed with Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA/formerly Wegener’s). 

Fortunately, his diagnosis was made relatively quickly resulting in earlier treatment. “Before my son was diagnosed, he was treated for each component of the common symptoms he was experiencing, rather than the total, the whole picture,” says Hirsch.  “After he was diagnosed, I spent a lot of time thinking about why so many doctors had missed the diagnosis. Why weren't the dots connected? I now understand the challenges of diagnosing a rare disease, so this video serves as a reminder to keep vasculitis at the forefront.”

Hirsch felt a simple animated video would be the best medium to communicate a complex subject quickly and easily.  “Since animation is colorful and engaging, I felt it was the best medium to get the "you are seeing something different than it may appear" point across. It could not have been done with live actors as easily, for example, or even with only human animated characters,” Hirsch explained. 

Although patients may appreciate the video, Hirsch would like to see “Connect the Dots” shared throughout  the medical community at large.  The VF is encouraging patients to email a link to the video to their network of doctors.  The organization is also promoting the video to a wide array of medical specialists such as dermatologists, allergists, ENTs, and nephrologists who would typically see a patient with vasculitis. 

“Connecting the Dots” can be viewed on the Vasculitis Awareness Month web page, on the VF’s website:


About the Vasculitis Foundation Based in the United States, the Vasculitis Foundation (VF) is the international organization for patients with vasculitis and their family and friends.  The VF empowers patients through disease education, raises awareness of vasculitis in the public and medical community, and funds research to determine the cause, develop more effective treatments and discover the cure for all types of vasculitis. The foundation is committed to improving the lives of current and future patients and is positioned as the definitive resource for patients, family members, medical professionals and researchers seeking information about vasculitis.