April 7, 2015

2015 Sjogren's Walkabout

Team UII at the Philly SSF Walkabout

At last it's here, it's finally SPRING!
What fun and joy will this season bring?

There's flowers and sunshine, and lots to do.
But the most fun of all will be at the Zoo!

So check us out and join our team;
The funds you help raise will support our dream -

To live a life where we more than cope,
Where we laugh and love and are filled with hope!

What: 11th Annual Walkabout for the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation
(This is my fifth year on the committee for this event!)
When: Saturday, May 2 - Registration opens at 8:30; step off is at 10:00AM
Where: Philadelphia Zoo (for those in the Philly area - if you aren't nearby, please consider donating, and check the Sjogren's website to see if there's an event in your area!)
How: Donations can be made online or by contacting me.  Qualify for FREE ENTRY to the Zoo for the entire day by simply raising at least $10 per family member (ages 3 and up)!  
For details on earning FREE entry and how to make donations, visit my team page at here: 

Please remember to invite your friends and family!  You can share this post via email, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Google+, etc.  Or, sign up for the walk and send your personal page around!

What is Sjogren's?
Sjogren's Syndrome (pronounced "SHOW-grins") is the second most common autoimmune disease in the US, though it is dramatically misunderstood.  In this disease, our bodies attack themselves, especially moisture producing glands and connective tissue.  While the most common symptoms include dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, and chronic pain, Sjogren's can affect every system in the body.  It is chronic and progressive, meaning there is no cure and it will usually get worse over time.

But the SSF (Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation) is working to change all that.  The Foundation has recently cut the average diagnosis time from 7 years in half, and is continuing to work on making that even shorter.  They also:
  • Provide resources to patients, family, and healthcare providers,
  • Host an annual Patient Conference,
  • Publish materials,
  • Raise awareness among the healthcare community to drive interest in this pervasive disease, and 
  • Fund research into effective treatments and possible cures!
The Philadelphia Walkabout is the Foundations largest fundraising event in the country!

Sjogren's By the Numbers:
  • An estimated 4 MILLION Americans have Sjogren's
  • 9 out of 10 patients are women (though both men and women can develop the disease)
  • Sjogren's patients are at a 44X greater risk of developing Lymphoma
  • Sjogren's patients need an average of 50 TIMES more dental work
  • The average age at diagnosis is between 40 and 50 years of age (but it can occur at any age - I was diagnosed at 15 with symptoms beginning at 2 years of age)
Learn more about Sjogren's and the SSF at www.sjogrens.org