The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month with the inauguration of its yearlong Autoimmune Heroes campaign that names actresses Kellie Martin (@kelliemartin) and Haley Ramm (@halesbells), along with her mother Barbara Ramm (@BarbeeVintage), as the first #AutoimmuneHeroes for their help in raising public awareness and promoting education for autoimmune disease (AD).
The campaign #AutoimmuneHeroes was established to recognize the efforts of people and organizations that have worked to advance the AD agenda in areas such as research, patient safety, advocacy, public education and awareness, service, and volunteerism.
AARDA salutes Haley and Barbara Ramm – Barbara is an AD patient herself – for their powerful commitment, spearheading the first-ever Los Angeles Autoimmune Walk, which collected nearly $100,000 for research and awareness campaigns. Additionally, the organization is grateful for Haley’s efforts in enlisting the cast of ABC’s Chasing Life to have a pajama pillow fight on camera in an attempt to raise awareness for the link between autoimmune disease and fatigue.
AARDA also cites Kellie Martin’s nearly 20 years of dedication to the organization serving as a celebrity spokesperson, attending media interviews on the issue, speaking at public forums, headlining special dedicated events, advocating on Capitol Hill, filming public service announcements, and enlisting her friends and family to support the cause.
Martin and Haley Ramm have recently joined forces to launch AARDA’s #25for25 fundraising campaign, an initiative that invites individuals and organizations around the world to support AARDA’s achievements for people suffering from autoimmune disease and help the continuation of their efforts by donating $25 to the organization.
Through the end of 2016, AARDA will announce its #AutoimmuneHeroes. Over the past 25 years, these individual and collective heroes have proved their pivotal contributions, without which AARDA would not have become the national organization it is today. Nearly 50 million Americans suffering from autoimmune disease, and their families, have seen their lives impacted by the work of AARDA.
“We at AARDA are immensely fortunate to have the pleasure of working with these three intelligent, talented, and passionate women, all of whom continually work to raise awareness of autoimmunity and autoimmune disease to make life better for the 50 million Americans who suffer from these diseases and their families,” Virginia Ladd, AARDA’s founder and executive director, said in a press release. “We cannot thank these autoimmune heroes enough.”