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Sarcoidosis (pronounced SAR-COY-DOE-SIS) is an inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of granulomas—tiny clumps of inflammatory cells—in one or more organs of the body. When the immune system goes into overdrive and too many of these clumps form, they can interfere with an organ’s structure and function. When left unchecked, chronic inflammation can lead to fibrosis, which is the permanent scarring of organ tissue. This disorder affects the lungs in approximately 90% of cases, but it can affect almost any organ in the body. Despite increasing advances in research, sarcoidosis remains difficult to diagnose with limited treatment options and no known cure.

Today on the Community Affairs Show, Cheryl Jackson talks with Sarcoidosis Patient Advocate, Erica Courtenay-Mann.  Erica is living with Sarcoidosis and is currently serving on the Women of Color Patient Advisory Committee for the Ignore No More Campaign.

African American women bear the greatest burden when compared to all other groups impacted by sarcoidosis. 

They experience higher hospitalization and mortality rates and are more severely impacted by the disease with more organ involvement and severe symptoms than Caucasians and African American men.  

The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) launched the Ignore No More: African American Women & Sarcoidosis (AAWS) Campaign to address these disparities by engaging our sarcoidosis community – patients and providers – to better understand how sarcoidosis impacts African American women.

By raising awareness, FSR hopes to improve diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes for  this population.

For more information about Ignore No More: African American Women & Sarcoidosis, visit stopsarcoidosis.org. for upcoming webinars.  Also, follow Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research on all social media @stopsarcoidosis to engage in the  #IgnoreNoMore social media campaign.