Newswise — (Kansas City, MO): The Race is On! That’s the theme for Vasculitis Awareness Month 2020, which runs May 1 through May 31, 2020, and shines a spotlight on vasculitis—a rare, but often serious autoimmune blood vessel disorder.
“This year’s Vasculitis Awareness Month (VAM) is happening during a challenging time for everyone,” said Joyce Kullman, Executive Director of the Vasculitis Foundation (VF). “COVID-19 has changed the world we live in. But there is still a critical need to raise awareness of this disease and support vasculitis research for better treatments and a cure.”
Kullman said the VF has tailored its awareness messaging and activities for the times we’re living in.
“COVID-19 gives us a unique opportunity to help the general public recognize that people with vasculitis and other autoimmune disorders are at a higher risk of infection because they are immune-compromised,” she said. “Social distancing is so important to help protect ourselves and our loved ones. But we can’t let COVID-19 stop us in our mission to improve the lives of people affected by this disease.”
With that in mind, the VF will offer an interactive VAM calendar of simple daily actions and activities to raise awareness in May—right from the safety and comfort of home. The calendar can be viewed and downloaded at: https://www.vasculitisfoundation.org/awareness/.
Here’s a sample of what’s going on during Vasculitis Awareness Month:
- Vasculitis Awareness Month 2020 Video: Every year, the VF produces a new video that captures the spirit of raising awareness about vasculitis. This year’s video will stress the importance of racing toward more research for better treatments and improving the quality of life for patients worldwide. View and share it!
- Live Webinar on Vasculitis Research: The VF and its research arm, the Vasculitis Patient-Powered Research Network, will host a live webinar with leading vasculitis researchers Tanaz A. Kermani, MD, Peter Grayson, MD, and Jennifer Gordon, PhD. They’ll discuss the most impactful research studies of 2019 and the future of vasculitis research in a new world with COVID-19.
- V-RED Award Winners: The VF’s 2020 Recognizing Excellence in Diagnostics (V-RED) award winners will be announced in May. The V-RED program calls on patients worldwide to nominate a medical professional for making a critical, early diagnosis of vasculitis.
- VAM Matching Gift Fundraiser: A special donor is matching gifts up to $10,000 in support of VAM 2020.
- Life Hacks for Living with Vasculitis: Promote self-care during these stressful times by submitting your own short video describing the “life hacks” you use to improve daily life with vasculitis.
- Say it Like You Meme It! Spread awareness by sharing our memes on your social media channels.
- Wear Your Story, Share Your Story: Buy a VAM 2020 T-Shirt and spread vasculitis awareness!
- And More!
“We hope people will join us in our vasculitis awareness activities this month as their personal circumstances allow,” Kullman added. “Our thoughts go out to everyone dealing with vasculitis and now COVID-19.”
The Vasculitis Foundation thanks its sponsors Amgen, ChemoCentryx, Genentech, and GSK, for their generous support of Vasculitis Awareness Month 2020, and the V-RED awards.
For more information about Vasculitis Awareness Month, please visit: https://www.vasculitisfoundation.org/awareness/.
About VasculitisVasculitis is a rare autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels, which can restrict blood flow and damage vital organs and tissues. There are nearly 20 different forms of the disease. Vasculitis impacts every age group and gender.
About the Vasculitis FoundationSince 1986, the Vasculitis Foundation has empowered patients through disease education, raising vasculitis awareness in the general public and medical community, and funding research to determine the cause, develop better treatments, and discover a cure.
The VF is committed to improving the lives of current and future patients and is the definitive resource for patients, family members, medical professionals, and researchers seeking information about vasculitis. Visit www.vasculitisfoundation.org.