National Gaucher Foundation, Inc. (NGF)​ Announces Gaucher Awareness Month in October

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October is the designated month to bring awareness to this debilitating and often fatal disease.

National Gaucher Foundation logo

National Gaucher Foundation logo

Educational and outreach programs are vital to help save lives and lessen the effects of the disease through early diagnosis

Gaucher Awareness Month kicks off October 1 with a month-long series of educational and outreach programs designed to shed light on this devastating illness that affects anyone regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. The highlight of "Awareness Month" will be the NGF's online Awareness Event featuring projects submitted by the Gaucher community. Media outlets will spread the word about this important annual event.

Families and individuals who have Gaucher disease, treatment centers, pharmaceutical companies and anyone who has a connection to those who have the disease are encouraged to submit an awareness project.

​Any type or size project can help raise awareness of Gaucher disease. Past projects ranged from producing videos to preparing campaigns, raising funds at events ​such as bake and garage sales, sharing "awareness" fliers ​with others to donating to the NGF to help support its educational programs. All projects submitted to the NGF will be posted at its website, http://www.gaucherdisease.org. The NGF will be accepting projects throughout the month of October. Participants can click on "Submit your project" link at the online event or share project using the "Awareness Month" webpage.

Gaucher Awareness Month can be traced back to 1986, when President Ronald Reagan issued his first proclamation to hold Gaucher Awareness Week beginning October 16. Later, in 1990, the Honorable Barney Frank introduced a joint resolution to declare September as Gaucher Awareness Month. It was later changed to the original month of October.

"Educational and outreach programs are vital to help save lives and lessen the effects of the disease through early diagnosis," says Rosina Papantonio, NGF Marketing and Communications Director. Gaucher disease, an enzyme deficiency, is often misdiagnosed and undiagnosed. It is debilitating, often fatal, and presently, there is no cure. Most people have little knowledge of their family history and may know nothing about Gaucher disease.

Some of the warning signs of Gaucher disease type 1, the most common form of the disease, are easily fractured and broken bones, nosebleeds and bruising, anemia and enlarged abdomen. Types 2 and 3 both have neurological involvement, causing fatalities and shortened life spans. Both parents must carry the Gaucher gene in order to pass it on to their children.

Learn more about the disease and how you can help support education at http://www.gaucherdisease.org. Through education, outreach and programs such as Gaucher Awareness Month, we can help save lives.

About the National Gaucher Foundation (NGF)
The NGF was established in 1984 to find the cause and a cure for Gaucher disease and promote research and awareness of the disease. Since 1984, the NGF has funded millions of research dollars toward the cause, treatments and cure for Gaucher disease. By 1991, the Foundation expanded its programs to meet the increasing needs of the Gaucher community and that included education and financial assistance. Today the NGF is the only independent, not-for-profit educational organization in America catering to individuals and families with the disease. http://www.gaucherdisease.org/

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Rosina Papantonio, Marketing and Communictions Director