ARDS Foundation 'United in Hope Mini-March'

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ARDS Foundation's annual 'United in Hope Mini-March" will be held on August 5, 2006, at Flick Park, Glenview, IL to raise funds for education, research and public awareness of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) which strikes at least 150,000 Americans each year, killing half of them.

On Sat., August 5, 2006, the ARDS Foundation will host its 4th annual "United in Hope Mini-March" benefit at Flick Park, 3600 Glenview Road Glenview, IL from 10 AM-2 PM.

ARDS Foundation is an all volunteer organization supported by physician specialists from around the nation.

Events will include a mini-walk, and other fun activities for adults and children alike. There will be a raffle and silent auction. Breakfast and Lunch will be served. Proceeds from the event will be used for education, public awareness, and to fund medical research into Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Over the past three years, this event has raised more than $50,000. For additional information:

Cost for the event is $15.00 for an individual and $30.00 for a family.

ARDS is a life-threatening condition that leads to a dangerous loss in the functioning of the lungs. Although there are more than 60 distressed conditions that can bring on ARDS, the most common are pneumonia, sepsis (an overwhelming infection in the body), aspiration of fumes, food or stomach contents into the lung, and trauma. These conditions cause the body to manufacture substances that may cause inflammation in the lungs. Once inflamed, the alveoli (air sacs) are then unable to perform the normal oxygenation of the blood.

ARDS strikes within 24-48 hours of the precipitating condition. Chest films (radiographs) can change from clear to nearly a white out almost in an instant and patients require life support to survive.

There are approximately 150,000 reported cases of ARDS per year. Yet because ARDS is often linked with other distressed conditions, it is believed that the actual number of cases per year is significantly higher.

ARDS is particularly complicated because no patient enters the hospital with ARDS as their admitting diagnosis. However, almost anyone who is admitted to a hospital is at risk to develop ARDS.

Many patients develop Multiple Organ Failure (MOF), usually affecting their kidneys and liver. Cerebral failure can occur and many patients are in delirium. According to Vanderbilt University, every day spent in delirium by ICU patients was associated with a 10% higher risk of death and worse long-term cognitive function among survivors.

Post ARDS, many survivors suffer from dyspnea, COPD, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and neuropathy.

More than 75,000 Americans will die this year from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

Eleven years ago, ARDS suddenly changed the life of then 33-year-old attorney, Eileen Rubin Zacharias. "After spending nine weeks in the hospital, dealing with the devastation of ARDS, I dedicated myself to increasing awareness about this little known syndrome," said Zacharias, ARDS Foundation President. "Over the past six years, we have been working passionately to find ways to raise money that will lead to increased medical knowledge that can be used to fight ARDS. It is critically important to increase public awareness to anyone who might enter the hospital, and to educate and support those who find themselves caring for a loved one in crisis."

Paula Blonski, who lost her sister, Marybeth, a nurse, at the age of thirty-six, said, "ARDS seriously lacks public awareness, and as a result, ARDS research is severely under funded," said Blonski, Vice President of the ARDS Foundation. "This year, ARDS Foundation offered their first grant in partnership with the American Thoracic Society, but we are dedicated to doing more. "Paula emphasizes, "We can only begin to make a difference by expanding education, awareness and governance initiatives that will empower individuals to promote early diagnoses and successful treatment of ARDS."

ARDS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.

To learn more about ARDS and ARDS Foundation, please visit our website at or call 1.312.749.7047.


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