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Get Involved During Autoimmune Awareness Month


molly murray president ceo
By Molly Murray, President & CEO, Autoimmune Association

Celebrated every March, Autoimmune Awareness Month is dedicated to enhancing understanding and recognition of autoimmune diseases. These are conditions where the immune system erroneously attacks the body’s own cells, leading to over 100 different types of autoimmune diseases, including common conditions like psoriasis, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as rarer conditions like Behcet’s disease, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD). With an estimated 50 million Americans affected and numbers increasing, raising awareness for these diseases has never been more crucial.

Autoimmune Awareness MonthThroughout Autoimmune Awareness Month – and every month – each of us has the power to raise awareness about autoimmune disease. By making more people aware of autoimmune disease, we can drive progress in research, improve diagnosis and treatment methods, inspire hope, and work toward ending these diseases. Increased visibility for autoimmune disease can help:

  • Drive Research Innovation. Awareness efforts can catalyze significant strides in research. By bringing more attention to autoimmune disease, we can increase funding for studies and generate interest among researchers. Research is critical to understanding autoimmune diseases and developing effective diagnostics and treatments.
  • Improve Patient Outcomes. Many autoimmune diseases have symptoms that are easily mistaken for other conditions, making them challenging to diagnose. As a result, people may suffer for years before receiving an accurate diagnosis, which can lead to irreversible damage to the body. Spreading awareness helps motivate individuals to pursue medical help sooner, improving their chances of a better outcome and a higher quality of life. It also encourages healthcare professionals to deepen their understanding of autoimmune conditions, leading to quicker and more accurate diagnoses.
  • Cultivate a Supportive Community. Another goal of raising awareness for autoimmune diseases is to create a supportive community. Living with an autoimmune condition can feel exceptionally lonely and difficult, impacting both physical and emotional well-being. By uniting as a community, we can offer support, exchange information, and advocate for our needs.

Raise Awareness with a DIY Fundraiser

One impactful way to engage is by organizing a do-it-yourself (DIY) Fundraiser. These events are a fantastic way to spread the word within your community and raise essential funds for our cause. With a DIY Fundraiser, you can create an event or a challenge and invite your family, friends, neighbors and more to support you with donations.

Setting up a DIY Fundraiser can be straightforward, fun, and doesn’t have to be grandiose. Many people find success by incorporating fundraising into activities they already enjoy or regularly participate in. This approach not only simplifies the process but also adds a meaningful layer to everyday hobbies or interests. For example, Sarah, a fitness enthusiast, invited friends to join her for a unique yoga session — with goats! Participants paid a fee to attend, which Sarah donated to the Autoimmune Association. Andy, an avid runner, asked friends and family to support her with donations to the Autoimmune Association when she participated in the New York City Marathon. Amanda, a musician, organized a local benefit concert for the Autoimmune Association. Throughout this month, we’ll share more stories, including Patrick, who embarked on a 100-mile ride, and Tim, who tackled a Facebook push-up challenge.

To help you every step of the way, from brainstorming an idea for a fundraiser, to setting up a web page to announce your fundraiser and collect donations, we’ve launched a new DIY Fundraising platform. We’ve made it easy for you to host your own fundraiser and raise awareness. Get started today and make a significant impact by the end of March!

Other Ways to Raise Awareness

If organizing a fundraiser isn’t possible for you this month, there are numerous other ways to make a difference. Engaging with the Autoimmune Association on social media, sharing educational content from our toolkit with your network, participating in Autoimmune Expressions by sharing your art, telling your personal story, and contacting your legislators are all valuable contributions. Visit our Autoimmune Awareness Month page to learn more about the ways you can help raise awareness not only during Autoimmune Awareness Month, but all year long.

Join Us This Month and Beyond

Autoimmune Awareness Month serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by over 50 million Americans living with autoimmune disease and underscores the importance of awareness, advocacy, education, and research. By engaging in activities such as DIY fundraisers, using your social networks to educate, and sharing your story, you can be part of the driving force in the fight against autoimmune disease.

I invite you to join us this month and beyond, as we work together to make a difference in the lives of millions, pushing us closer to the promise of a world without autoimmune disease.

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