VF in the News

Kent Town, Australia, Neurologist Receives Honorable Mention in Vasculitis Foundation’s 2019 V-RED Award Program

The program has grown into a powerful campaign that raises awareness about early diagnosis.

(Kent Town, Australia, September 2019) Andrew Lee, MBBS, MPH, FRACP, A/Prof, has received an honorable mention in the Vasculitis Foundation’s (VF’s) 2019 Recognizing Excellence in Diagnostics (V-RED) award program. Dr. Lee, a neurologist in Kent Town, is credited with diagnosing cerebral vasculitis in a patient whose series of frequent strokes baffled her doctors. His patient, Carmen Haule Reaiche, is now enjoying a life free from harsh medications and debilitating symptoms.

“Early diagnosis made a difference to my life in many ways,” said Reaiche. “It allowed me to grow stronger and to recover. “I am back to work, and even though I am not at 100 percent, I am alive. I am also able to be here for my only daughter when she has needed me the most, as she lost her father to cancer. I am functioning the best I can.” Raeiche’s first stroke occurred in 2012 at age 42. When she awoke, she was unable to speak or walk. She was examined by specialists at a local hospital, but after a few days, was released. Several strokes followed and her doctors had no idea why they were happening with such frequency and to someone who usually would not be at risk.

Dr. Lee is director of the Centre for Neuroscience Innovation at Calvary Wakefield Hospital and associate professor, College of Medicine and Public Health, at Flinders University. He specializes in stroke neurology and provides consultations, nerve conduction studies and research trials. He has been in practice for 22 years.

Karen Hirsch, past-president of the VF Board of Directors, is particularly encouraged by the V-RED award program’s success. After her son, Michael, received an early diagnosis of vasculitis, Hirsch created the award to bring special recognition to medical professionals in a broad range of clinical specialties. She believes the award increases awareness among medical peers. The program calls on patients worldwide to nominate a medical professional they want to recognize for making a critical, early diagnosis of vasculitis, thus enabling timely treatment, and potentially sparing permanent and ongoing health complications. With more nominations than ever before, the program, now in its sixth year, has grown into a powerful campaign that raises awareness about early diagnosis. This year, two winners tied for first place in addition to Dr. Lee’s honorable mention.

Building upon the collective strength of the vasculitis community, the Vasculitis Foundation supports, inspires and empowers individuals with vasculitis and their families through a wide range of education, research, clinical, and awareness initiatives.