Freeholders Proclaim Sarcoidosis Awareness Month in Morris County

Freeholder Director Doug Cabana presents the proclamation to Mary Morlino of Whippany. In background, from left, Freeholders Tom Mastrangelo and Stephen Shaw, and Sarcoidosis supporters Bridget Hillman, a nurse from Whippany and Mary Cobb of Morris Township

HANOVER — The Morris County Board of Freeholders has proclaimed April as Sarcoidosis (Sar-Coy-Doe-Sis) Awareness Month in Morris County, to help call attention to this lesser-known disease and efforts to foster research that could lead to effective treatment.

Representatives of the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research joined the Board of Freeholders to accept the proclamation at the county government meeting in Morristown on Wednesday, April 24. Included were Mary Morlino of Hanover Township, Mary Cobb of Morris Township, Bridget Hillman of Hanover Township, and Cathy Wick, who is the New Jersey Ambassador for the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research or FSR.

“An estimated 200,000 people in the nation, including residents of Morris County, are affected by this debilitating and deadly multi-organ disease, which has no known cure nor reliable treatment,” said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “It can affect people of any age, race, or gender, but is most common among adults between ages of 20 and 40, and the rate of incidence is higher in African Americans.”

“We have asked these residents of our county to come here tonight, to accept this proclamation, so we can help call attention to this disease and their efforts to improve the quality of life and prognosis of those living with this disease, and to encourage more research to find effective treatments.”

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of granulomas—tiny clumps of inflammatory cells—in one or more organs of the body. When the immune system goes into overdrive and too many of these clumps form, they can interfere with an organ’s structure and function. When left unchecked, chronic inflammation can lead to fibrosis, which is the permanent scarring of organ tissue.

This disorder affects the lungs in approximately 90% of cases, but it can affect almost any organ in the body. Despite increasing advances in research, sarcoidosis remains difficult to diagnose with limited treatment options and no known cure.

Volunteers, researchers, caregivers, and medical professionals are working to improve the quality of life and prognosis of those living with this disease, and but much more research is needed to find effective treatments.

For a wealth of information on Sarcoidosis, including symptoms, treatments, research and support, click here.