Pittsburgh on National TV!
Most of you know me as a silly goose, but there’s also a serious side to all this madness. I too am a real person and I don’t just booze and party on the weekends. I do good things with my free time when I can. I’d like to take an opportunity to tell you lovely NYO readers about something that’s very near and dear to my heart. I am going to be on a television show called “Everyday Health” Sunday, November 20th at noon on ABC. The episode was filmed in downtown Pittsburgh, primarily at Pittsburgh Salon Verve Wellness, in Market Square and the Cultural District. I hope, at the very least, you will tune into the show to educate yourself on this serious topic. I’m just copying and pasting what I wrote for the Facebook event because, well, why say the same thing twice?
As many of you know, I was filmed for a human interest reality television show over the summer. I was selected because of my involvement with the National Psoriasis Foundation, a nonprofit based out of Portland that raises funds and promotes awareness for the chronic health condition known as psoriasis that myself and an estimated 7.5 million Americans suffer from, most of which in silence.
I am delighted and honored to serve as a spokesperson for the psoriasis community through my efforts as a patient mentor, advocate, lobbyist and philanthropist. I was the chairperson for the 2011 Walk to Cure Psoriasis, recently held in Schenley Park. This was the 2nd year for the walk here in Pittsburgh and we raised over $20,000 – a 62% increase from last year. While this is great, I am still short of my goal. This is why I am inviting you all to a viewing party to watch the premiere of my episode and raise some more funds towards the Pittsburgh walk.
I am requesting a suggested donation of $5, but feel free to give more. I understand funds are tight for many, but you might just change your mind once you hear my story. A story I share with millions. A story that most are too ashamed to tell. A story that I am proud to share.
Olive or Twist has generously donated their upstairs lounge for the affair. There is no Steelers game on this particular Sunday, so what better excuse to have an afternoon cocktail? There will also be a silent auction. We’ll have some nifty gift baskets. I know we have an autographed picture of Hines Ward that was graciously donated. I am currently accepting donations to assemble other gift baskets, so if anyone has connections please be in touch. Art friends – maybe we could work something out?
In the meantime, you can learn more about the show on their website. The show is hosted by two former Survivor winners, Ethan Zohn and Jenna Moraska. Fun fact: Jenna is originally from Pittsburgh. The pair are also a couple and were inspired to do nonprofit work after Ethan’s battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He recently learned that his cancer is back, but he is still pushing forward. He is a true inspiration.
You can also learn more about the National Psoriasis Foundation at their website. If you or someone you know struggling with psoriasis, do not hesitate to reach out to me. I’ve mentored countless patients and am an excellent resource on everything from becoming involved with the foundation, local support group opportunities and getting access to care/medications. I’ve been through it all in a very short time period and I’ve come out of it with a renewed sense of self. Unfortunately, this is not something many people with severe, debilitating psoriasis can say. I am OK now, but I wasn’t for quite a while.
I am very excited to invite you all to take a peek into a more personal and genuine side of myself. I am equally as excited to expose all of you to a very debilitating, life-changing disease. I was diagnosed only three short years ago. You know more people than you think who have psoriasis, trust me.
Please know that I will not be offended if you choose not to attend. If you’d like to watch at home, the show airs Sunday, November 20th at noon on ABC. In addition, if you would like to donate to the cause, please visit our walk page.