NEW YORK, April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From April 22nd to April 29th, the Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF) and 75 locations across 50 countries, will join together to celebrate the annual World Primary Immunodeficiency Week (WPIW).
JMF will host their simultaneous balloon launch in New York City and around the world to represent their commitment to this global movement to raise awareness for Primary Immunodeficiency (PI). Each balloon symbolizes a newly diagnosed patient; a person that with the help of the Foundation and its colleagues, will experience a better quality of life, or even, life itself.
These defects of the immune system are thought to be rare. However, PI affects 10 million people worldwide.
"We have organized this Global Get-Together so that doctors, nurses, patients, families, friends, and staff will set free thousands of balloons to affirm, as one voice, our dedication, passion, and commitment to patients with PI. It is not only about awareness, but a worldwide Call to Action for both government and health officials to recognize PI as a top priority," says Co-Founder, Vicki Modell.
Event participants are spread across the globe in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and right here in the United States. JMF unites these organizations not only through the balloon launch, but through their growing social media community.
Through the Foundation's Facebook, Twitter, and interactive events like this year's Photo Contest, patients, their families, and patient organizations are provided with the opportunity to get involved in this year's celebrations. Through these social media platforms, contests, and additional advocacy and awareness efforts, the Foundation has grown to over 137,000 members and continues to grow at a rapid pace with the goal of reaching as many countries as possible.
20 years ago, Co-Founders, Vicki and Fred Modell, sought out congress and lobbied for an awareness week for Primary Immunodeficiency. Their dedication to this cause resulted in the last week of April being declared World Primary Immunodeficiency Week.
"We could never have imagined the progression and growth of our community. Had you told me we would have 50 countries and 20 states join Vicki and I in this global movement, I would have never believed it," says Co-Founder, Fred Modell.
The Jeffrey Modell Foundation is dedicated to public awareness, physician education, and to bring Primary Immunodeficiency to the forefront of health officials concerns in each of these countries. This awareness week will continue to enhance these efforts and continue to change the quality of life for patients around the world.
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.
Vicki Modell, Jeffrey Modell Foundation, (212) 819-0200
Fred Modell, Jeffrey Modell Foundation, (212) 819-0200
SOURCE Jeffrey Modell Foundation