SOUTHFIELD — The Scleroderma Foundation Michigan Chapter has recently been recognized by three organizations, both regional and national, for its Public Service Announcement featuring Barry Sanders, Mitch Albom, and Jason Alexander.
The Scleroderma Foundation Michigan Chapter’s PSA earned a 2013 People’s Telly Silver Award and an honorable mention in PR Daily’s 2013 Nonprofit Awards. The Michigan Chapter also was honored recently by the National Scleroderma Foundation with the “Outstanding Chapter Awareness Award,” recognizing the PSA and overall outstanding efforts to advance awareness through the chapter’s website and social media channels.
The product of the Michigan chapter’s innovation, leadership, and drive, the PSA has aired on TV stations across the U.S. and been shared by thousands on YouTube.
“It’s certainly rewarding to be recognized by these distinguished organizations,” said Laura Dyas, executive director of the foundation. “The best part, however, is the PSA is doing its job — increasing public awareness of scleroderma and those who feel as if they’re suffering alone because too few people know this disease.”
Scleroderma is a crippling autoimmune disorder characterized by a thickening and hardening of the skin that is so severe, it steals away the use of patients’ fingers, hands, and limbs. As it advances across their bodies, the uncontrolled growth of fibrous tissue also can damage patients’ hearts, lungs, and other organs, often leading to a prolonged and painful death. There is no known cause or cure for the disease.
The Scleroderma Foundation Michigan Chapter is part of the largest patient-based organization in the U.S. dedicated to providing the support, advocacy, and research necessary to provide counsel for patients, and ultimately help discover a cure.