BENEFITING: FOUNDATION FOR SARCOIDOSIS RESEARCH
EVENT: Kick In to Stop Sarcoidosis!
EVENT DATE: Apr 26, 2014
On April 26, 2014, The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research will be holding a 5K run in Chicago to benefit sarcoidosis research. I'll be (virtually) doing the 5K here in NJ in memory of my father, Bob Nigro, who died from sarcoidosis related complications on June 17, 2007.
What is sarcoidosis, you ask? Medically it would be described as "an inflammatory disease that can affect almost any organ in the body. It causes heightened immunity, which means that a person’s immune system, which normally protects the body from infection and disease, overreacts, resulting in damage to the body’s own tissues." This results in granulomas that decrease organ function, which can lead to a host of medical issues and even death. With the sarcoidosis my father suffered from (pulmonary), symptoms include: a dry cough that does not go away, shortness of breath, frequent chest pain, fatigue, fever, skin lesions & pain, and overall malaise. The cause is unknown and there is no cure.
What is sarcoidosis to me? It is the black cloud that hung over my dad for as long as I can remember (no really, he was diagnosed when I was 3). It took away his ability to play tennis first, then pretty much anything physically active. It gave him these scary looking purple blotches all over his skin and face. It made him cough loudly and constantly all day and night, to the point where he would cough up blood and get nosebleeds or bruise his ribs. It made it increasingly harder for him to breathe and catch his breath, forcing him to finally rely on a respirator during the day and a CPAP machine to breathe for him at night. It made his immune system vulnerable (his body was basically attacking itself) and he always seemed sick. It eventually made him bed ridden at home. It took away his ability to play the guitar he loved so much. It forced him to subside on dozens of meds that bloated him, immobilized him, and messed with his mental state, all to counteract the disease. It put him in the hospital multiple times as he got worse - sarcoidosis eventually had him relying on his family to feed him and write for him and hold his hand while he stopped fighting after 16 years of sickness and passed away.
Regardless of how you define sarcoidosis, I think we can agree on one thing: There needs to be more research so that this can be stopped. Celebrities like Bernie Mac and Michael Clarke Duncan both died from this disease and yet there is so little focus on finding out ways to properly understand, treat and cure it. That is why I am asking for your help in helping me beat sarcoidosis in memory of the funniest, most caring, best father in the world.
Here's how you can help:
You can join my team and run/walk virtually on your own like I am in his memory. If enough people do it locally we can get together on the ave in Carteret or trail if people are up for it.
You can donate anything you can to my team/my run (Amanda Nigro).
You can educate yourself on this disease.. so the next time you hear about some random person in your life suffering from sarcoidosis, you will know what they're talking about! Knowledge is power. :)
Thanks again everyone - from the bottom of my heart, it means the world to me to have people support this worthy cause.