Dear Friends & Family,
I am raising money for the 2012 Philadelphia Tri-State Sjogren's Walkabout & Autoimmune Health Fair, sponsored by the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation, for research & education programs. This will be our 3rd year raising money for this very important cause; I hope you will consider joining us in our efforts!!
Sjogren's Syndrome (pronounced SHOW-GRINS) is an incurable autoimmune inflammatory disease in which your white blood cells attack your moisture producing glands. While dry eyes & mouth are hallmark symptoms, Sjogren's Syndrome is a systemic disease affecting the entire body and can cause serious dysfunction to other organs (similar to Lupus). In particular, Sjogren's patients have a significantly higher risk of developing lymphomas (cancer of the lymph glands). Sjogren's is one of the most prevalent autoimmune diseases, striking nearly 4,000,000 Americans (1 in 70), with 90% of patients being women. Sadly, most people have never even heard of it.
Sjogren's has had a debilitating effect on my health, causing significant problems with my nervous system, blood vessels, eyes/mouth, thyroid/adrenal glands & gastrointestinal system. At a time when most of my friends are starting families and/or advancing their careers, I've become disabled from a life I worked so hard to create. Due to complications from a disease flare, I developed CRPS (Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome), an incredibly painful, relentless syndrome & was forced to stop working in 2008. Since that time, I've been diagnosed with subsequent conditions, all of which equate to me spending most of my time in doctors' offices, getting treatments & searching for cures. By looking at me, you would never know that I have Sjogren's or that I'm in pain all the time. It's difficult to have a disease that makes me feel so sick & know that so few people understand that when they see me.
Sjogren's can have a great impact on family members as well. I am especially grateful for my husband, Mark, and our families, who have stood by me and supported me. I know how powerless they feel when they see me in pain and struggling.
As was my experience, it is unfortunately common for it to take over 6 years from a person's onset of symptoms to diagnosis, and why it is so important to consider donating to this cause!! Funding for new research & education is necessary so that people can be diagnosed & treated earlier, hopefully avoiding serious complications of the disease.
Thank-you for your support - and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate! Also, consider posting my page to your facebook, twitter or linkedin accounts!
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts. If you prefer to donate in cash or check, please contact me!
Please consider joining Mark & our family on May 5th at the Philadelphia Zoo!!! The walk starts promptly at 10am, so try to arrive by 9/ 9:30am for free entrance to the zoo!
Check-out the "Event" tab above for walk details or contact me for more information.