The Vasculitis Foundation has honored three members for their exceptional work and support towards the mission of the VF. The awards were presented during the 2015 International Vasculitis Symposium, held in Jacksonville, Florida, June 19-21.
l-r: Elaine Holmes and Dr. Elizabeth Brant, VF Fellow
The Spirit Award was established in 2006 in honor of Bruce, longtime VF member and volunteer of the organization who led the way in connecting patients and family members with the educational and support resources needed to live successfully with vasculitis. Early on Bruce recognized the critical importance of patients becoming their own experts in understanding their vasculitis and how to best manage the disease.
Elaine organizes dynamic, informative programs for meetings that are greatly appreciated by her members. Her personal outreach, genuine concern and compassion for newly diagnosed patients and all the members of her group is legendary and her dedication and support of the VF is truly appreciated. Elaine continues to set the bar for VF Chapter leaders with her vibrant enthusiasm to meet the needs of her Chapter members.
2015 VF Online Patient Advocate Award
Marianne Vennitti, co-founder of Alliance for Cryoglobulinemia, was honored with the VF’s first-ever, “VF Online Patient Advocate Award”. Vennitti was recognized for successful efforts to use social media to raise awareness about Cryoglobulinemia, and other vasculitic diseases.
Patient advocacy plays a big role in the world of rare disease. As the industry has developed, it has become clear that patients really do need to be at the heart of the industry and specifically research. The VF strives to be a vein to the heart of vasculitis research for patients; bringing the voice of patients, researchers, and industry together. We encourage new and innovative approaches to improve disease awareness, patient care support, and education. In recent years we have been able to reach more patients by breaking down geographic barriers with the use of online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. None of this would be possible without the knowledge and support of committed patients working to connect more patients to the resources they need.
The experience of chronic illness has not hindered Marianne’s thirst for knowledge, but rather empowered her to become and advocate for patients with vasculitis. Marianne is taking the word about rare disease and Cryoglobulinemia, to the masses and uniting patients to resources, raises awareness of vasculitis and the need for more research.
2015 Raising Vasculitis Awareness Star
Allison Lint Boyt is the recipient of the VF’s “2015 Raising Vasculitis Awareness Star” for her work on the Violin 4 Vasculitis 50-state Awareness Project. Over the past 4 years, Allison has performed concerts in over 25 states and raised almost $5,000 for the VF.
The Vasculitis Foundation works to support positive change in the lives of people who live with vasculitis. For this reason, the VF created the Raising Vasculitis Awareness Star award. This award honors individuals for taking vasculitis awareness to new heights. In 2011 Allison, a professional concert violinist began touring the United States to raise awareness of vasculitis, to raise funds for the Vasculitis Foundation and to connect patients and their families with others in their local communities. Over the past four years, Allison has performed concerts in over 25 states and raised almost $5,000 for the VF.