Supporters Poised to Mark World Sjögren’s Day on July 23

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by Mary Chapman |

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From sharing inspirational stories to educating others, supporters are poised to mark World Sjögren’s Day, observed annually on July 23 to raise awareness about the disease.

Awareness and education are crucial to increasing the recognition, diagnosis, understanding, and management of Sjögren’s syndrome, a chronic autoimmune disorder that predominantly affects women older than 40.

“It’s a day meant to put a face on the millions of people who live with this disease or suffer from symptoms and have yet to be diagnosed,” states the Sjögren’s Foundation on its webpage about the event. “It gives everyone touched by Sjögren’s a vehicle to reach out and educate those close to them — family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. — about the disease.”

World Sjögren’s Day is held on the birthday of Henrik Sjögren, the Swedish ophthalmologist who identified the disease in 1933.

The foundation is encouraging patients, caregivers, and supporters to discuss Sjögren’s with people in their lives and, in doing so, help spread awareness about the serious disorder.

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To help educate and spread awareness about Sjögren’s, the nonprofit organization is providing a fact sheet that explains the disorder and its symptoms. For example, the resource makes known that patients have a greater risk of developing lymphoma, and that the disease is the second most common rheumatic autoimmune condition in the United States, affecting up to an estimated four million Americans.

Supporters are also welcome to donate to Sjögren’s research, and to establish a personalized fundraising page that they can share with friends and family.

“We are incredibly grateful for patients, family, and friends of the Sjögren’s Foundation that are willing to help raise much-needed funds in conjunction with World Sjögren’s Day,” the organization states. “Each and every donation makes an impact as we work to conquer Sjögren’s.”

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In related news, the foundation is now offering multiple resources, such as brochures and fact sheets, in Spanish.

Elsewhere, Sjögren Europe, a federation of national associations representing patients, is offering a downloadable graphic in several languages to raise disease awareness. The group’s campaign this year is about fatigue, one of the most prevalent and disabling symptoms of the disease.