Operation Shooting Star, an autoimmune disease advocacy organization, announced that Delaware passed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 12 recognizing November 2019 as Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month.

March is National Autoimmune Disease Awareness month. On March 14, Audrey Fisher Killen, founder and executive director of OSS, traveled to Dover to put forth a plea at Legislative Hall, to work together at a state level to raise awareness and make a difference.

This action to join forces and raise awareness in Delaware will help educate the public about autoimmune diseases and the need for research funding, accurate diagnosis, and effective treatments.

“I am so proud of our state to join us in our mission to advocate for all of the Autoimmune Disease community,” said Killen. “Over 80 known diseases are connected by Autoimmunity yet most people remain unaware. Millions of people suffer in silence because they don’t know what they have, and many times while searching for answers, autoimmune disease isn’t even acknowledged or considered. This has to change.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, autoimmune diseases result from a dysfunction of the immune system. The immune system protects from disease and infection. Sometimes, though, the immune system can produce auto-antibodies that attack healthy cells, tissues and organs. This can lead to autoimmune disease.

NIH estimates 24 million Americans have one or more autoimmune diseases, and this does not count those suffering and living without a diagnosis, or that have been misdiagnosed. Autoimmune disease is also one of the top-10 leading causes of death in female children and women in all age groups up to 64 years of age. Moreover, it is estimated that annual direct health care costs in the U.S. for autoimmune disease is in the range of $100 billion.

It is the belief and mission of Operation Shooting Star that raising awareness of autoimmunity and its diseases, the connection between them that this will help propel success in research across so many individual diseases. By doing so, progress made in searching for a cure for one disease could mean progress for them all. In addition to advocating for patients, caregivers and those affected, Operation Shooting Star donates directly to autoimmune disease research.

For more, visit operationshootingstar.org or call 524-8292.