Country Music Artist Welcomed as US Foundation’s Celebrity Ambassador

Margarida Maia, PhD avatar

by Margarida Maia, PhD |

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Country music artist Ashley Barron has been named celebrity ambassador of the National Scleroderma Foundation, a role she will take up to increase understanding and awareness of scleroderma as she takes her music on tour this spring and summer throughout the United States.

“I am so honored to have the opportunity to work alongside the National Scleroderma Foundation to bring awareness to this disease,” Barron said in a press release.

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that causes hardening and tightening of the skin. The systemic type of scleroderma, also called systemic sclerosis, affects the blood vessels and internal organs as well.

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When Barron received a diagnosis of scleroderma at age 5, she and her family were unaware of the disease.

“We had never heard of scleroderma before,” Barron said in a promotional video posted by the foundation. “I didn’t know anybody that had scleroderma. I didn’t know there were any resources out there. And so it was just my parents and I trying to navigate this journey.”

“I never thought when I was diagnosed at 5 years old, that I’d one day get the opportunity to bring support and community to others that I did not have,” Barron added. “I’m very excited for the future and what is to come.”

Her mother, Carol Lee Barron, also received a diagnosis of systemic sclerosis in 2020, four months before she died of the disease.

“This is going to be an amazing opportunity, not only for me to get involved and create awareness, but to honor my mom,” Barron said.

Her newest single, “The Wind,” featured on her self-titled debut album, is an encouraging song about staying strong and moving forward in life even when it gets difficult.

“Ashley is uniquely positioned to help others affected by scleroderma find their best path forward,” said Mary J. Wheatley, the foundation’s CEO.

“As a talented recording artist, as a person who has scleroderma herself, and as someone who lost her mother to this disease, Ashley’s compelling story can touch people in her audience who need to know about the disease and the work the National Scleroderma Foundation is doing to address it,” Wheatley added.

The foundation is teaming up with Barron’s recording label, SSM Nashville Records, to plan public appearances, both virtual and in-person, during which she will share her songs and stories.