With a $10,000 donation, Operation Shooting Star, a nonprofit autoimmune disease advocacy organization, announced its partnership with Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, a leader in autoimmune disease research.
Audrey Fisher Killen, founder and executive director of OSS, along with National Ambassador Gretchen Schoenstein, recently traveled to Seattle to deliver a donation in the amount of $10,000 to support their current projects which focus on why the immune system turns on itself, and finding a way for everyone to have a healthy immune system.
“What an amazing opportunity to be able to partner with such an impressive and accredited institute as BRI. It is an honor to meet and work with an establishment of which our goals and vision are so in sync with theirs,” said Killen. Joining forces in the fight against autoimmunity to raise awareness from coast to coast and encourage more communication will bridge the gap between researchers, doctors, caregivers, patients and the public. Progress in research will lead to answers that will lessen the burden of suffering for so many in the country.
According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 24 million Americans have at least one autoimmune disease, and this does not count those undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Autoimmune disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in female children and women in all age groups up to 64 years of age, and it is estimated that annual direct healthcare costs in the United States for autoimmune disease are in the range of $100 billion.
It is the belief and mission of both Operation Shooting Star and Benaroya Research Institute that raising awareness of autoimmunity and its connection will help propel success in research across so many individual diseases. Progress made in searching for a cure for one disease could ultimately mean progress for them all.