NEW YORK, April, 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of World Primary Immunodeficiency Week (WPIW), the Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF) has created a new virtual awareness initiative by attaching "wishes & dreams" to their annual balloon launch. Entitled worldPIwish, short animated films will be shared on JMF's social platforms daily, with the Foundation spotlighting and highlighting different groups of people who are important to the Primary Immunodeficiency community. The new campaign launches Sunday, April 22nd.
WPIW is a global movement to raise awareness for earliest possible diagnosis and access to appropriate treatment for patients affected by Primary Immunodeficiency (PI). PI is a genetic defect of the immune system that affects at least 1 in 500 people, mostly children, and is chronic, serious, and often fatal, if not diagnosed and treated early. JMF helped create WPIW in 2013, which is celebrated annually, April 22nd – April 29th.
JMF has historically celebrated WPIW with a simultaneous launch of thousands of specially designed balloons throughout the United States and around the world with the sentiment of "If releasing one balloon can help save a life, imagine what one million can do." Each balloon launched symbolized a newly diagnosed patient. In 2017, the Foundation celebrated virtually through Facebook with astounding results – reaching 9 million people in 95 countries, with 4.5 million views and thousands of likes, loves, and shares.
Fred Modell, JMF Co-Founder excitedly stated, "Last year's virtual balloon launch reached millions of people in countries around the world, a greater reach than we could have ever dreamed… and this year we hope to continue the momentum and surpass that success and celebrate WPIW in the grandest way possible."
This year, building on that momentum, the Foundation has created another virtual initiative, entitled worldPIwish. Characters from JMF's successful "When I Grow Up" PSA Campaign will star in eight short animated films, traveling to assorted wishing wells in unique settings, to make their worldPIwish. Viewers are being encouraged to participate by sharing these videos and dedicate their "wishes & dreams" to the important people in their lives and to tell the world what they're hoping for, dreaming of, and wishing for the future.
"We're asking for the world to celebrate this wonderful community of patients, nurses, physicians, friends, family, and advocates. To help create awareness knowing that many lives will be changed and saved… that's my worldPIwish… and hopefully the day will come when all our patients' wishes and dreams come true," said Vicki Modell, JMF Co-Founder.
The worldPIwish campaign begins on the first day of WPIW, April 22nd with a new film being shared every day until April 29th, the last day of WPIW.
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 dedicated to early diagnosis, meaningful treatments and, ultimately, cures through research, physician education, public awareness, advocacy, patient support, and newborn screening. The Jeffrey Modell Centers Network (JMCN) includes 781 physicians at 356 academic institutions, in 273 cities, 86 countries, spanning 6 continents and growing.