Dr. John Stone, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and the Edward A. Fox Chair in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, announces the formation of the IgG4ward! Foundation, an advocacy organization designed to support those impacted by Immunoglobulin G4-Related Disease (IgG4-RD). IgG4-RD is a chronic and debilitating autoimmune condition that affects approximately 40,000 patients in the United States and hundreds of thousands globally. IgG4ward!, the first and only organization solely dedicated to supporting those living with IgG4-RD, aims to provide education and awareness of the disease, to grow the number of IgG4-RD experts across the world, and to facilitate groundbreaking research. No approved treatment options exist for this condition.
“The rapid momentum we have generated with IgG4ward! demonstrates the large unmet need we are addressing,” said Dr. John Stone, IgG4ward! Founder and Executive Chairman. “Our plan is to create synergy within the community of IgG4-RD patients, their care partners, and clinicians to tackle every aspect of this disease.”
The launch of IgG4ward! coincides with September’s Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month, an initiative created by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) to create awareness of the more than 100 rheumatic diseases defined today. As recently reported by the ACR, more than 58.5 million American adults, as well as hundreds of thousands of children, have been diagnosed with a rheumatic disease.
IgG4-RD is a serious and chronic, immune-mediated fibro-inflammatory disease that can affect multiple organs in the body. Many patients have some degree of irreversible organ damage at the time of diagnosis, generally because of a delay in diagnosis owing to a lack of awareness of this condition. This damage can have a profound impact on patients’ lives, leading to organ failure or death if not diagnosed and treated appropriately.
IgG4ward!’s mission as the first and only organization solely dedicated to IgG4-RD advocacy, research, and support is to provide a trusted source of truth about this disease, to improve the lives of people living with IgG4-RD, and to help identify better treatments and cures.