DALLAS, June 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Scleroderma Foundation's Texas Bluebonnet Chapter is pleased to announce its third annual Dallas/Fort Worth "Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma" walk-a-thon to benefit the programs and services of the chapter and to help fund medical research aimed at finding the cause and cure for scleroderma, a little-known but devastating autoimmune disease. The walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 26, 2010 at the Collin Creek Mall in Plano, TX, and will last approximately one hour. Attendees are advised to park outside "Entry 3" and convene at 7:45 a.m. for early registration in the atrium. Registration fee (which includes t-shirt) is $10 adults and $6 children (6 yrs and under). Individuals are encouraged to bring friends and family to this event.
The Texas Chapter marks its 15th anniversary in 2010 and June as Scleroderma Awareness Month. Throughout the month of June, the Foundation's national network of 22 chapters and 145 support groups engage in a variety of events all designed to generate greater awareness and understanding of this chronic, debilitating and often fatal disease, as well as to raise much-needed funds to support the work of the Foundation. The Dallas/Fort Worth "Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma" walk is just one of more than 40 such events happening throughout the country during June.
Scleroderma (the name is derived from two Greek words meaning "hard skin") is a chronic, often progressive autoimmune disease in which one's immune system attacks the body's healthy tissues. The disease is caused by the over-production of collagen (the primary component of scar tissue) in the body. This excess collagen takes over healthy cells in the body's organ systems causing scarring (sclerosis) of the skin and often the internal organs, most commonly the heart, lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Scleroderma primarily affects women, but men and children also suffer from the disease. "Like most autoimmune disorders, there is no known cause or cure for scleroderma, only medications that can help to slow the progression of the disease," said Maureen D. Mayes, M.D., M.P.H., a noted scleroderma clinician and researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, and author of The Scleroderma Book, A Guide for Patients and Families. "Because scleroderma affects people differently and varies in severity from person to person, it can be difficult for patients to receive an accurate diagnosis, especially in the early stages of the disease," Mayes commented. Some medicines and treatments are able to assuage certain symptoms, but there is still no cure for scleroderma, which affects about 300,000 individuals nationwide.
About the Scleroderma Foundation
The Scleroderma Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs and interests of all those affected by scleroderma. Headquartered in Danvers, Mass., the Foundation's 22 chapters and 145 support groups nationwide carry out its threefold mission of support, education, and research. More about the work and mission of the Scleroderma Foundation can be found at www.scleroderma.org, or by calling 1-800-722-HOPE.
About the Scleroderma Foundation, Texas Bluebonnet Chapter
The Foundation's Texas Bluebonnet Chapter has been in existence for more than 10 years, working to fulfill the Scleroderma Foundation's mission of support, education, and research. Starting in Houston, the Chapter has grown to have a state-wide presence, with 12 support groups and numerous educational events throughout the state each year.
More information about scleroderma and the work of the Texas Bluebonnet Chapter, please visit http://www.scleroderma.org/chapter/texas/index.htm
Cindi Brannum, Executive Director
Texas Bluebonnet Chapter
Tel. 972.396.9400Toll Free Tel. 866-532-7673
SOURCE Scleroderma Foundation, Texas Bluebonnet Chapter