The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is calling for everyone to participate this month of April in a campaign to celebrate those living with sarcoidosis.
This year’s campaign, #SarcoidStories, is an effort to raise awareness among the general public about the daily challenges and joys in the lives of those who live with this rare disease.
According to the foundation, in the United States sarcoidosis is most frequently diagnosed in African-Americans and people of European (particularly Scandinavian) descent.
The campaign calls people to help show the world just how many lives are affected by sarcoidosis, as well as how they can help the community by supporting patients or funding research.
By participating in the #SarcoidStories Challenge, people can take to their favorite social media channels and share their story or experiences (just two or three sentences), and include a photo of themselves.
Using the hashtag is advised to help the foundation better track your post, and so it can be featured on their official pages on Facebook and Twitter. Social media are an effective way to create buzz about a topic, as everyone can share the news and help them travel around the world.
Long-term illness can cause emotional problems in addition to physical challenges, so it’s probably no surprise to know that sarcoidosis also can affect mental health. Research studies have shown that more than half of people who live with sarcoidosis also show signs of clinical depression.
People with severe disease are among those most likely to be depressed, as well as those who have limited access to medical care or who have trouble paying for their care.
Depression can affect work, studies, sleep patterns and even appetite. Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness and anxiety are all signs of depression. If possible, medical help should be sought.
The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research lists a number of local and online support groups at this link.
The foundation, established in 2000, is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for sarcoidosis and to improving patient care. It has fostered more than $4 million in research projects dedicated to sarcoidosis, and has provided resources and support to thousands of patients and researchers.