Spondylitis Awareness Video Contest Entries Received by May 30, 2011 Eligible for $1,000 Top Prize

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The Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) is launching its Second Annual Spondylitis Awareness Video Contest to help spread the word about ankylosing spondylitis and related diseases.

The $1,000 Spondylitis Awareness Video Contest, which runs through May 30th, asks participants to create a video, up to three minutes in length, answering the question "What should people know about spondylitis?" Entries must have spondylitis as their focus and impart information about some aspect of the disease. Though personal stories are welcome, the video must also contain educational value for the general public.

The grand prize is $1,000. The next four winners will receive amounts ranging from $50 to $300. The top 10 entries will qualify for a free one-year SAA membership and SAA promotional items. All cash prizes have been donated by SAA Board Member Leslie Kautz.

This contest is open to all legal residents of the United States, excluding SAA staff, members of the board of directors of the Spondylitis Association of America, and their families. See the full list of contest rules and guidelines at http://www.spondylitis.org/contest_rules.pdf.

The purpose of the Spondylitis Awareness Video Contest is to educate the public and spread awareness as part of the Spondylitis Association of America’s efforts to recognize April as Spondylitis Awareness Month and commemorate May 7th as “World AS day”.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ankylosing spondylitis and its related diseases affect as many as 2.4 million Americans -- more than multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis and Lou Gehrig's disease combined.

“Our biggest challenge is to create awareness for the disease, so people who have persistent back pain can seek an accurate diagnosis, especially young people,” says Laurie Savage, SAA’s Executive Director. “Because most of the damage caused by ankylosing spondylitis occurs in the first 10 years, early diagnosis means early treatment to improve quality of life.”

“By asking our members and friends to create these informational videos, we hope to get the word out about spondylitis to more people than ever before.”

About Ankylosing Spondylitis

Spondylitis is the term used to refer to a group of chronic, inflammatory diseases that generally strike young people between the ages of 17 and 35. Typically, spondylitis causes pain and stiffness and, in the most severe cases, can result in a total fusion of the spine and/or neck, leading to disability. Although spondylitis primarily affects the spine, it is not uncommon for the disease to impact the joints of the shoulders, hips, knees and feet, as well as cause inflammation of the eye. More rarely, because AS is a systemic (whole body) condition, other organs such as the heart and lungs can also become involved.

About the Spondylitis Association of America

The Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) is the only nonprofit organization in the US dedicating all of its resources to improving the lives of people with ankylosing spondylitis and related diseases. Established in 1983, SAA is committed to increasing awareness of spondylitis, providing information and support to patients and their families, and ultimately, working to uncover a cure for the disease.

SAA produces the most comprehensive library of spondylitis resources available in the US -- including books, DVDs, CDs, brochures and other publications; a 1,300-page interactive website, spondylitis.org; a quarterly, advertising-free news magazine, and a network of nationwide Educational Support Groups to educate and support people living with this chronic illness.

At the forefront of every major milestone achieved in spondylitis education, research and advocacy in the US, you will find the Spondylitis Association of America.

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Elin Aslanyan
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