Advocacy

Ask Your Senators to Support Funding for Scleroderma Research


ACTION ALERT: Contact your Senators and ask them to support the inclusion of “Scleroderma” in the Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program during the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 appropriations process!

You can take action to maximize scleroderma research! Senators are working on the FY23 Department of Defense (DOD) appropriations bill and deciding which conditions will be included on the next Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) eligible conditions list.  

Please reach out to the offices of your Senators and ask them to “support the inclusion of scleroderma in the DOD’s PRMRP’s eligible conditions list in FY 2023.”  

You can use the easy letter below to contact your Senators and help ensure that scleroderma researchers have the opportunity to secure vital research funding. When you include a brief story about your own connection to scleroderma, you help emphasize why scleroderma research is so important. 

For more information about Senate appropriations, the PRMRP, and researchers’ eligibility for federal funding, click here.

 

TAKE ACTION

Enter your contact information in the fields below to send a message to both of your Senators asking them to support funding for the Scleroderma Peer-Reviewed Research Program.

Use the open space provided to share 1-2 brief paragraphs about why scleroderma research is important to you.

  • We need to act quickly, so please send your email by Thursday, July 29, 2022.
  • Want to take an extra step? Call each of your Senators’ offices and leave a brief message asking them “to support funding for the Scleroderma Research Program for Fiscal Year 2023.” Be sure to include your name and where you live. Click here to find your Senators’ phone numbers.

Recipients

  • Your Senators

Contact

*Required fields
 
 

Message

Dear [Decision Maker],

Thank you for your leadership on patient care and public health issues. I write you today on behalf of the community of individuals affected by scleroderma to ask that you work with your colleagues to ensure that "scleroderma" once again is listed as a condition eligible for study through the Department of Defense Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) within the Committee Report accompanying the Senate's FY 2023 Defense Appropriations Bill.




Scleroderma is a chronic connective tissue auto-immune disease affecting approximately 300,000 Americans. The word scleroderma means hardening of the skin, which is one of the most visible manifestations of the disease. With an auto-immune disease, the body attacks its own tissues. In the case of scleroderma, the body produces too much collagen, which leads to scarring and fibrosis of the skin and, often, internal organs.

Scleroderma can cause severe damage to internal organs such as the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. Serious complications of the disease can include pain, skin ulcers, anemia and pulmonary hypertension. The cause of this progressive and potentially fatal disease remains unknown. There is no cure, and treatment options are limited. Symptoms vary widely and depend upon which organ systems are impacted. Prompt diagnosis and treatment by qualified physicians may improve health outcomes and lessen the chances for irreversible damage. Research on the underlying mechanisms of scleroderma is showing relevance to all fibrosis, which occurs at higher rates among individuals who serve in the military and our veterans. Further, military service-associated environmental triggers (particularly silica, solvent, and radiation exposure) are believed to be linked to the onset of scleroderma in individuals who are genetically predisposed to the condition.

I hope you will work with your colleagues to once again list scleroderma in FY 2023 as a condition eligible for study through the annual list on the Committee Report accompanying the Senate's FY 2023 bill.

On behalf of scleroderma-affected constituents, thank you for your time and your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]