SAN FRANCISCO and BOSTON and HAMILTON, Ontario, June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- North America's leading scleroderma advocacy and research organizations are holding a virtual flash mob June 29 to raise awareness of the rare disorder. The social media event takes place on World Scleroderma Day after the nonprofits hosted more than 100 walks, tributes and fundraisers during the month.
Scleroderma Foundation, Scleroderma Research Foundation and Scleroderma Society of Canada partnered again this year during June Scleroderma Awareness Month, combining marketing efforts to boost awareness and spark compassion. This is the third consecutive year that the agencies have worked together under the name "Hard word. Harder disease." Their efforts have grown the scleroderma network and boosted online buzz and engagement.
New this year is a virtual flash mob through Thunderclap. The partners and supporters worldwide will use the social media tool to share a campaign message at the same time across Facebook and Twitter. On June 29, World Scleroderma Day, the message will encourage people to learn about scleroderma and tell others about the disease. To join the flash mob, visit Thunderclap.
The campaign theme touches on the difficulty of the word and the gravity of scleroderma, a rare disease with no known cause or cure. It has run across partner Facebook and Twitter channels (#hardword) throughout the month, with visuals and copy that educate and challenge people to take a pledge to tell one person about the disease. The campaign has also leveraged a blogger network and a microsite, www.HardWord.org, with general information about and links to additional resources.
Scleroderma is a crippling autoimmune disorder characterized by a thickening and hardening of the skin that is so severe, it steals away the use of patients' fingers, hands and limbs. As it advances across their bodies, the uncontrolled growth of fibrous tissue can damage patients' hearts, lungs and other organs, often leading to a prolonged and painful death.
The Scleroderma Foundation is the national organization for people with scleroderma, their families and friends. Headquartered in the metro Boston area in Danvers, Mass., the Foundation has a network of 21 chapters and 160 support groups committed to carrying out the three-fold mission of support, education and research. The Scleroderma Foundation is one of the largest nonprofit funders of peer-reviewed medical research, in 2015 making available $2 million in new research grants to find the cause, better treatments and a cure for scleroderma.
Scleroderma Research Foundation
The Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF) was established in 1987 by patient turned activist Sharon Monsky when research on this potentially life threatening illness was nearly nonexistent. Since our founding, we've stood firm in our belief that the best way to help scleroderma patients is to fund medical research aimed at improved therapies and a cure. Today, we are one of the nation's largest nonprofit investors in scleroderma research. Patients and their loved ones find hope in the fact the SRF is dedicated exclusively to funding medical research that will help them live longer, fuller lives.
Scleroderma Society of Canada
The Scleroderma Society of Canada serves as an advocate nationally for those affected by the disease and works collaboratively with regional scleroderma organizations and the international scleroderma community to achieve common objectives. The Scleroderma Society of Canada is committed to promoting public awareness, supporting those affected by scleroderma and funding research to find a cure. Until then, we will work to improve the quality of life for those with scleroderma.
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SOURCE Scleroderma Foundation