NEW YORK, April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Jeffrey Modell Foundation, in collaboration with physician experts and patient groups from 32 countries, launched World Primary Immunodeficiency Week beginning today.
Primary Immunodeficiencies (PI) are genetic defects of the immune system that are often chronic, serious, and can be fatal. The disorder affects 10 million people worldwide and most are not aware of their condition.
Vicki and Fred Modell established the Jeffrey Modell Foundation 26 years ago, in memory of their son Jeffrey, who lost his battle with Primary Immunodeficiency (PI) at the age of 15. The Foundation (JMF) is a global organization dedicated to Research, Physician Education, Patient Support, Public Awareness, Advocacy, and Newborn Screening. There are 196 Jeffrey Modell Centers in 68 countries spanning six continents.
Weeklong events will bring together patients and their families, healthcare professionals, scientists, and industry, empowering all stakeholders to raise awareness for earliest possible diagnosis and appropriate treatment. One of the highlights of World PI Week is a simultaneous launch of thousands of specially designed balloons at Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Centers throughout the U.S. and around the world.
"To affirm our dedication, passion, and commitment to our mutual mission, Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic, Research, and Referral Centers throughout the U.S. and abroad will be participating in this event by launching balloons on the same day. This will signify how since inception, WPIW has 'ballooned' into a global movement," said Vicki Modell, Co-Founder of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation. She added, "We need to be sure that each child and adult has the best chance of being diagnosed early and effectively treated. Awareness is critical, and World PI Week is an excellent opportunity to drive this global movement to educate the medical community and the public about Primary Immunodeficiencies."
The Jeffrey Modell Foundation also sponsored a global competition for the most innovative, creative, unique, and cutting edge idea to create awareness of Primary Immunodeficiencies during World PI Week. JMF has awarded three winners with a prize of $5,000 each to fund their events during World PI Week.
About Jeffrey Modell Foundation
Vicki and Fred Modell established the Jeffrey Modell Foundation in 1987, in memory of their son Jeffrey, who died at the age of fifteen from complications of Primary Immunodeficiency – a genetic condition that is chronic, serious, and often fatal. JMF is a global nonprofit organization dedication to early diagnosis, meaningful treatments, and, ultimately, cures through research, physician education, public awareness, advocacy, patient support, and newborn screening.
Vicki Modell, Jeffrey Modell Foundation, (212) 819-0200
Fred Modell, Jeffrey Modell Foundation, (212) 819-0200
To learn more about the Jeffrey Modell Foundation
SOURCE Jeffrey Modell Foundation