‘Light the Night’ draws attention to Amyloidosis Awareness Month

Amyloidosis Foundation asking global public, landmarks to go red for March

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by Mary Chapman |

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An illustration for a rare disease, showing one red balloon amid a bunch of white and black balloons.

The Amyloidosis Foundation again is marking Amyloidosis Awareness Month, observed each March, with a “Light the Night for Amyloidosis” campaign.

The initiative seeks to call attention to amyloidosis, a group of diseases that includes familial amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP), a progressive disorder caused by the accumulation of amyloid fibrils made up of the protein transthyretin. These fibrils tend to accumulate in peripheral nerves, those found outside the brain and the spinal cord.

Peripheral nerve damage, a condition known as peripheral neuropathy, is considered an hallmark of FAP, which is estimated to affect 1 in every 100,000 U.S. residents. Abnormal sensations in the hands and feet, such as tingling and numbness, are common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

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Promoting Amyloidosis Awareness to Create a Better Future

Amyloidosis Foundation effort to raise awareness, advance care worldwide

Amyloidosis Awareness Month is aimed at lawmakers, pharmaceutical industry representatives, researchers, and healthcare professionals, in addition to the general public. Besides heightening the visibility of amyloidosis, the event’s objective is to increase awareness of community needs.

The foundation is contributing with its “Light the Night” effort, created to draw attention to amyloidosis symptoms, diagnosis, and disease treatment, as well as the need for a cure.

This year’s campaign again calls on supporters to illuminate their home’s porch or entryway with a red bulb throughout March. The organization also is working to get as many businesses and landmarks worldwide involved as possible.

To date, more than 100 landmarks will light up in red, some for a day or so, and more are being added daily, according to the foundation. They include the Gilbert Water Tower in Gilbert, Arizona; Sails of Light in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; the Eye Street Building in Washington, D.C.; the Skywheel in Panama City Beach, Florida; the IBM Ward Village in Honolulu; the Wrigley Building in Chicago; the Helix Garage in Lexington, Kentucky; the State Capitol Building in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; the Ford Field in Detroit; the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York; and the Lytham Windmill in Lancashire, England.

Two municipalities in Ontario, Canada — Pelham and Barrie —  have issued proclamations declaring March to be Amyloidosis Awareness Month.

The biopharmaceutical company Alnylam also announced a European-based social media campaign aimed at raising awareness of hereditary ATTR amyloidosis (hATTR), a group of disorders that includes FAP. The effort features the diagnostic journey of patients, talking about their symptoms and the need for greater attention to this genetic disease.