TV star stars as "Autoimmune Walk" ambassador

Beloved actress and star of ER, Life Goes On, Christy and the Mystery Woman series will begin a guest starring stint on the Lifetime hit Army Wives this Sunday, April 8.

In the recurring role, Martin will play Nicole Galassini, a smart, tough U.S. Army captain working in the Intelligence Division. Later in the season, Tony award-winning actress Patti LuPone will appear on the series as Lorraine Galassini, Kellie's/Nicole's mother. That makes this "take two" for this television mother/daughter duo who first appeared together in the long-running and influential ABC hit Life Goes On.

In real life, Kellie is starring this spring as "Autoimmune Walk" ambassador on behalf of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA). Kellie is urging patients, their families and friends to join her as she, her family, and her friends participate in the walks.

"Autoimmune disease affected my family in a terrible way when I lost my sister and best friend, Heather, to lupus in 1998," explains Kellie. "Since Heather's death, I have worked with AARDA to raise awareness of autoimmune diseases. Now I have the opportunity to invite others who have been affected to join the fight - and walk."

The Autoimmune Walks are being conducted "virtually" and locally in three U.S. cities. A virtual walk can be done by anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time that is convenient. The three local walks are scheduled for Metro Washington, D.C. (May 19), Metro Chicago (June 2) and New York Tristate (June 24). Kellie plans to attend the Metro Washington, D.C. walk.

"Autoimmune diseases run in families and they have a common thread that links them all together," says Kellie. "This is an incredible opportunity for families touched by these diseases to 'link together' in support of autoimmune disease research and patient services."

Autoimmune disease (AD) disproportionately affects women. Of the 50 million Americans living and coping with ADs, more than 75 percent - some 30 million - are women. AD is one of the top 10 leading causes of death of women under the age of 65.

It encompasses more than 100 diseases, including type-1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune hepatitis, Sjogren's, Crohn's disease and lupus. It is responsible for more than $100 billion in direct health care costs annually.

Source:

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA)

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