In observance of World Scleroderma Day June 29, the Scleroderma Foundation is hosting a virtual variant of its “Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma Walk-a-thon.” The event provides an opportunity to join in a virtual walk in memory or honor of loved ones affected by scleroderma.
Recognizing that Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma walks are not held in every city or town across America, the foundation believes it is still important that everyone have an opportunity to participate in the project in some way, even if there is no local walk scheduled near them.
So, the World Scleroderma Day Virtual Walk tool was created as an easy, fun way to participate in the national event, and help raise funds for research to find the cause and a cure for scleroderma, advocate for greater public and awareness of the disease, and provide necessary support, resources and free educational forums for persons living with the disease and their families.
Anyone can participate in the World Scleroderma Day Virtual Walk. Those who register as virtual walkers will be given a personal fundraising page for collecting donations. The foundation makes it easy to share your fundraising page online through email and social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
How one chooses to participate in the World Scleroderma Day Virtual Walk is entirely up to the individual. For example one could invite family and friends to a walk and picnic at a local park or hiking trail, or participate in an existing local marathon or other running or walking event, and use the fundraising page to collect donations.
Participants who raise $75 or more by July 1 will receive a special commemorative T-shirt in honor of the World Scleroderma Day Virtual Walk. Registrations are open here.
Scleroderma is a chronic, often progressive, autoimmune disease of unknown cause in which the body comes under attack by its own immune system. According to the World Scleroderma Foundation, an estimated 2.5 million individuals worldwide suffer from scleroderma, the majority being women of childbearing age.
Scleroderma literally means “hard skin,” and symptoms can include a thickening and tightening of the skin, but it is a complex and poorly understood disorder that can cause serious damage to internal organs including the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. As scarring of organs and organ systems progress, they function less effectively, and scleroderma can ultimately lead to organ failure and death.