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Sarcoidosis patient competes in Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga for FSR


Joachim

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A person wearing a superhero cape pushes a child in a wheelchair.

A sarcoidosis patient and ardent supporter of the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) was dubbed a “warrior” by the nonprofit for competing in the Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga triathlon, in Tennessee, to raise awareness of the rare condition as well as funds to fight it.

The competition, held May 19, called for participant Mathew Hall — a member of the FSR’s Team KISS, an acronym for Kick in to Stop Sarcoidosis — to consecutively complete a 1.4-mile downriver swim, a 56-mile bike ride through historic Chickamauga, and a 13.1-mile run through downtown Chattanooga. The run portion featured the Tennessee Riverwalk, Walnut Street Bridge, and Riverfront Parkway.

According to a pre-event FSR press release, Hall’s commitment to the “challenging athletic event” not only underscores his strength and determination, but also his devotion to the sarcoidosis community.

“We are incredibly grateful for Mathew’s commitment to shining a light on sarcoidosis,” said Mary McGowan, CEO of the FSR. “His participation in the Iron Man 70.3 Chattanooga will undoubtedly bring much-needed attention to this cause and inspire others to get involved. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those living with sarcoidosis.”

As member of FSR’s Team KISS, patient takes on Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga

Hall had sought to raise $3,500 for FSR as part of Team KISS, according to his fundraising page. As of this publication, $180 had been raised, though donations are still being accepted.

“FSR is the leading dedicated to finding a cure for this disease and improving care and treatment options for sarcoidosis patients,” Hall states on the page. “The funds all go directly to FSR and their programs for improving patient education, supporting patients and their caretakers, and of course, funding research to find better treatment options and one day, a cure.”

Team KISS was created by the foundation as a platform that could involve all interested volunteers and advocates, including patients and family members, in the fight against sarcoidosis. Over the last five years, the team has raised more than $500,000 for sarcoidosis research, with participants receiving fundraising tools and other FSR support.

“Whether you just share your fundraising page or you host an independent event, every bit helps raise awareness and advance FSR’s efforts to improve the lives of sarcoidosis patients as well as invest in promising research projects,” the Team KISS webpage states.

I am honored to compete in the Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga in support of FSR. … Every stroke, pedal, and step I take is a tribute to the strength of those battling this disease. I hope to raise awareness and inspire hope for a brighter future for all sarcoidosis warriors.

Sarcoidosis affects more than 1.2 million individuals globally and is marked by an overactive immune system that results in the formation of granulomas — small clumps of inflammatory cells — in tissues and organs, impacting their function. At length, the granulomas can become calcified and cause permanent damage.

While the condition can affect any area of the body, it manifests most commonly in the lymph nodes and lungs, with symptoms such as chronic coughing and shortness of breath. Other organs, such as the skin, eyes, and liver, also can be affected.

Because sarcoidosis symptoms can vary markedly, diagnoses can be challenging. To compound matters, early symptoms are also shared with various other conditions, and no diagnostic test is available that can distinguish sarcoidosis from them.

That makes “initiatives like Mathew’s participation in the Ironman Triathlon crucial for raising awareness and support for those affected by the disease,” the FSR stated in the release.

For his part, Hall asked supporters for their help in reaching his fundraising goal to help his team.

“I am honored to compete in the Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga in support of FSR,” Hall said. “Every stroke, pedal, and step I take is a tribute to the strength of those battling this disease. I hope to raise awareness and inspire hope for a brighter future for all sarcoidosis warriors.”

The post Sarcoidosis patient competes in Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga for FSR appeared first on Sarcoidosis News.

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