"Walk for Cure" Empowers Autoimmune Disease Community
DANVERS, Mass., April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The "Walk for Cure" Video Awareness campaign launches today to support the Scleroderma Foundation and its signature fundraising and awareness event, "Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma." This multichannel media campaign hopes to spread more awareness about scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease.
WALKFORCURE.ORG is a video sharing website featuring a wall of scleroderma supporters sharing their reasons for taking part in Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma walks and raising awareness for scleroderma in general. Supporters are asked to upload an original video and describe why they walk. Some messages will be inspirational, some touching, some funny, but the goal of each video is to increase scleroderma awareness and provide hope and inspiration to the entire scleroderma community.
The site is open for video submissions until 11:59 p.m. (Pacific) Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. In November, all uploaded videos will be edited together, burned onto DVDs, and sent to members of Congress and the President of the United States. This powerful message echoes the need to increase federal resources for the National Institutes of Health and, more specifically, scleroderma-related medical research.
Walk for Cure uses social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to engage scleroderma patients and their family and friends, along with other supporters, to create a large online library of powerful testimonials.
Brian Ross Adams, the project founder said, "Everyone has their own reasons to get involved, walk for scleroderma and support the Foundation. Many people walk to increase scleroderma research funds, some walk to increase awareness, others walk to honor a loved one who is or has battled the disease." Adams, who is the Executive Director of the Scleroderma Foundation's Southern California Chapter, also said, "What all of our supporters share is a desire to spread the word about scleroderma, the need for better treatments, and the terrible effect this disease has on those who have it. This is a reminder that no matter how far away we are from each other, we are united in one purpose."
Scleroderma Foundation CEO, Robert J. Riggs added, "With the Walk for Cure website, we want to inspire our community to act. This campaign gives a voice to our supporters by sharing their powerful and compelling video stories through social media. It's a way of connecting on a national and global level to inspire, to encourage, and to make positive changes in people's lives."
An early video blogger who has helped test the site, Martha Sandoval-Almanza, mother of three, explained why it was so important to her, "It is important to share information about scleroderma because sometimes I feel that no one knows about it. This project will help others who have scleroderma feel more hopeful and less alone. I believe it is important to let my children know their mother has scleroderma and that she will continue to fight it. I want to show them that you must live life to the fullest and let nothing stop you."
Walk for Cure was developed in partnership with OrgSpring, a social media strategy company, which previously worked with the Scleroderma Foundation on two other awareness campaigns. Craig Grella, founder of OrgSpring, said: "We are honored to be working with the Scleroderma Foundation again and we're excited to see the results of this campaign. Video sends such a powerful message and this is precisely the type of social media activity that nonprofits should be doing to get their message out."
Submitting a Walk for Cure Video
Video submissions should not exceed five minutes. For instructions, visit walkforcure.org/submit-a-video/.
About Walk for Cure
Walk for Cure is a grassroots movement to raise awareness of scleroderma and funds to support the mission of the Scleroderma Foundation. The Walk for Cure Video Campaign hopes to dramatically increase the public's awareness of scleroderma and provide an inspirational forum for those participating in Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma walk-a-thons.
About the Scleroderma Foundation
The Scleroderma Foundation is the national organization for people with scleroderma, their families and friends. It was formed Jan. 1, 1998, by a merger between the United Scleroderma Foundation and the Scleroderma Federation.
The Scleroderma Foundation is headquartered in Danvers, Mass. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to serving the interests of people living with scleroderma. The Foundation has a network of 23 chapters and 168 support groups committed to carrying out its three-fold mission of support, education and research. The Scleroderma Foundation makes available at least $1 million in new research grants each year to find the cause and cure for scleroderma. For more information about the Scleroderma Foundation, visit www.scleroderma.org or call (800) 722-HOPE (4673). You also can find the Foundation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/sclerodermaus) and Twitter (@scleroderma).
About Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma Walk-a-thons
For over a decade, chapters and support groups of the Scleroderma Foundation have held Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma walk-a-thons in communities throughout the United States. Many of these walks take place each year during June, which is national Scleroderma Awareness Month. However, in hotter climates, some walks take place in the spring and early autumn. These events are designed to generate awareness of scleroderma and the debilitating effects the disease has on those diagnosed with it. The walk-a-thons raise much-needed funds to support the Scleroderma Foundation's work and mission, including the funding of scleroderma-specific research to find the cause and cure for this disease.
To find a "Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma" walk near you, visit http://bit.ly/sclerowalk12 or call (800) 722-HOPE (4673) to learn how to get involved.
Scleroderma is a chronic, often progressive, autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own body.
Scleroderma means "hard skin." It can cause a thickening and tightening of the skin. In some cases, it causes serious damage to internal organs including the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. As scarring, or sclerosis, of these organs and organ systems progresses, they work less effectively, and can lead to organ failure and death.
Some medications and treatments can help with certain symptoms, but there is no cure for scleroderma. The disease affects about 300,000 people across the U.S.A.
OrgSpring was founded by Craig Grella to help nonprofits and political campaigns harness the power of today's technology to reach their goals. OrgSpring offers comprehensive services, from social media awareness campaigns, websites, donor prospecting and all forms of cause messaging. To learn more about OrgSpring, visit www.OrgSpring.com or call (310) 770-7220.
SOURCE Scleroderma Foundation