Some 87 buildings, landmarks, and businesses in the U.S. and Canada turned purple April 13 in an attempt to help raise awareness about sarcoidosis during Sarcoidosis Awareness Month.
The initiative is called “Illuminate the Night: Shine a Light on Sarcoidosis,” and was begun by the nonprofit Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR).
As the first “lighting partners,” the Durst Organization and One World Trade Center in New York inspired an international movement supporting the cause. As a result, several volunteers, including sarcoidosis patients, invited lighting partners to shine a purple light during April, Sarcoidosis Awareness Month.
Skylines across 33 states in the U.S. and two Canadian provinces are taking part in the activities.
“We are so grateful for the business owners, legislators, and property managers who have responded to the calls of our volunteers to use their platforms to increase public awareness of sarcoidosis,” Ginger Spitzer, executive director of FSR, said in a press release.
“While progress is being made in research, sarcoidosis remains a disease with no known cause, limited treatment options, and no cure. This opportunity to see community support for sarcoidosis is invaluable to the patients and loved ones who live with the disease every day,” Spitzer said.
The FSR encouraged supporters to wear purple on April 13, take pictures of the lights, and share them on social media using the hashtag #LitForSarc. The organization also invites advocates to download and share their purple images on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to increase the impact of the initiative.
Supporters can visit FSR’s website to learn more about the project and the participating sites and businesses. The website also features information about the organization and its upcoming activities.
In 2008, Congress designated April as Sarcoidosis Awareness Month to bring awareness to the inflammatory disease affecting about 1.2 million people worldwide.
The FSR was established in 2000, and is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. committed to finding a sarcoidosis cure and improving healthcare for affected patients.
Since its launch, the FSR has raised more than $4 million to support research dedicated to sarcoidosis, and to provide resources and support for more than 40,000 people living with the disease.