March 2020 has provided an unprecedented opportunity to speak on behalf of the estimated 50 million Americans living with autoimmune diseases. The stakes have never been higher, especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased risk that the coronavirus poses to persons with autoimmune diseases and other underlying conditions.
Over the past month, we received an incredible response to ADAM. For example, many of you participated in AARDA’s ARNet survey in support of advanced research to more fully represent people living with autoimmune disease. Within 24 hours, we received a record number of personal stories and copies of letters to Members of Congress in support of the Safe Step Act. And, it’s no surprise that AARDA’s virtual Autoimmune Walk campaign is more popular than ever.
While ADAM comes to a close, we are more steadfast in our efforts to raise awareness about autoimmune disease and the needs of our community each and every day. Through our collective efforts, we continue to raise awareness and increase the urgency and necessity of better diagnostics of autoimmune disease, more research, increased funding, and improved treatment options.
As part of AARDA’s expanded efforts on COVID-19, I invite you to join us on Friday, April 3 at 2 PM ET for a national dialogue on the impact of the coronavirus on patients with autoimmune diseases, their families, practitioners, providers, and other stakeholders. AARDA is honored to be a part of this timely and relevant discussion featuring Dr. Georgina Peacock, CDC COVID-19 Task Force Lead and Director, Division of Human Development and Disability at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities; Dr. Aline Charabaty, gastroenterologist, Clinical Director of the GI Division and Director of the IBD Center, Johns Hopkins-Sibley Memorial Hospital; and Dr. Nancy Carteron, rheumatologist, former Chair of the Medical & Scientific Advisors for the Sjogren’s Foundation. Dr. Betty Diamond, chairperson of AARDA’s Scientific Advisory Board and Head of the Center for Autoimmune, Musculoskeletal and Hematopoietic Diseases at The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, will serve as our moderator. Click here to register.
As CEO, I am privileged to engage with extraordinary patient advocates, patient groups, practitioners, researchers, legislators, and others whose lives, careers, and decisions affect people throughout the autoimmunity community. For AARDA, every month is Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month, and we welcome and appreciate your leadership, partnership, and support to advance our shared cause.
With your continued support, AARDA can expand its efforts on behalf of the autoimmune community, particularly in the difficult months ahead, to drive awareness, patient education, and advocacy for more research on behalf of the 50 million Americans in need of a cure and ongoing treatment. Your help is critical. Please join us today in a special fundraising effort. Click here to make a contribution today.
Click here for information and resources about COVID-19 for people with autoimmune disease.
Thank you, again, for your continued support.
AARDA President & CEO