From fear of contracting the virus to the isolation it causes, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought stress to most aspects of life. Many people who live with autoimmune disease and similar conditions feel this stress even more, in the face of countless questions about how the virus might affect them.
Gretchen Schoenstein has dealt with multiple autoimmune diseases—including Hashimoto’s disease and sarcoidosis—for over two decades.
She’s juggled medications, sick days and doctors who told her all the things she couldn’t do. Living with these little-understood illnesses often made her feel invisible. But in 2014, when she walked through the doors of the Illuminations Luncheon and Research Showcase hosted by Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI), she felt something else.
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, 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.
Operation Shooting Star, an autoimmune disease advocacy organization based in Frankford, announced that it has appointed Gretchen Schoenstein as its first national ambassador. The position was created to help bring national attention to the organization’s mission to raise awareness of autoimmune diseases and the connections among them, while working to provide advocacy and research funding in this field.