Relapsing Polychondritis Sufferers Get a Boost As Non-Profit Organization Continues Major Drive to Accelerate Research and Awareness – September 10, 2018
The modern age has introduced some miraculous leaps in medicine for many conditions – but for others, they remain virtually unknown except to their sufferers, who may not even receive a diagnosis.
For the board of directors at RPASF, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, this is something that must be remedied – and the foundation is now driving its resources into increasing awareness about relapsing polychondritis and finding a cure, including interdisciplinary collaborations and events with major players in the autoimmune disease community.
The most recent event, Grapes on the Green, took place on August 24 and raised an impressive $500,000 for the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI), a world-class autoimmune disease research center in Seattle, WA. RPASF, together with Race for RP and Ferrari of Seattle, displayed a Ferrari 488 Spider (pictured) and donated a hot lap experience that was successfully auctioned to raise $5,000.
“Autoimmune diseases – such as relapsing polychondritis – happen when your immune system mistakenly attacks the body, rather than the foreign invaders it should. We don’t yet know what causes this misfire – which is what makes it so tough to diagnose and treat,” explained Dr. Jane H. Buckner, President of BRI.
“The path to a cure is not going to be easy – but events like this can help to further research and progress against relapsing polychondritis and other autoimmune diseases. Each donation, each event, and each laboratory breakthrough is progress not just for those suffering from relapsing polychondritis, but for sufferers of all autoimmune disorders.”
Relapsing polychondritis is a painful, sometimes fatal, autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s cartilage (primarily found in the ears, eyes, nose, joints, and respiratory system), causing deterioration with painful episodes of inflammation.
While sufferers outwardly look ‘normal,’ they must carefully manage their life to minimize the impact that the disease has on them. With just 3-5 people affected per million, many doctors are unfamiliar with it – and its lack of a specific test means diagnosis and treatment is further complicated.
The next major event on RPASF’s calendar is a relapsing polychondritis reception in Chicago on October 20 at the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant. This invitation-only event is being hosted and sponsored by RPASF, Race for RP, the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Autoimmunity Institute, and the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA).
“Relapsing polychondritis is a disease that few people know about; if we want to help people suffering and offer them better treatment outcomes and a better life, we need to understand more about it,” said Nancy Linn, Chair of RPASF. “Our mission is to push forward this research and raise awareness of this terrible condition so that those suffering can get the treatment that they deserve.”
On August 3, the foundation reported that a $50,000 donation from RPASF directors and officers was made to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) that supports patient-related travel to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as intramural research.
The news follows on from RPASF’s recent board of directors’ election in July, which saw four new members of RPASF take their seats. At the time, the foundation pledged to grow and attract key talent to further much-needed research into relapsing polychondritis.
The new directors are Nancy Linn as Chair, Michael Linn as Vice Chair, David Bammert as President, and David DeRosa as Secretary. For more information about relapsing polychondritis and to support the RPASF, please visit www.polychondritis.org/about-rpasf/
Jeff Westphal Joins Race for RP as Official Driver and Advocate Supporting Relapsing Polychondritis Awareness – August 5, 2018
Today, Race for RP is excited to announce that Jeff Westphal has graciously agreed to be an “official” Race for RP driver and continue his fantastic advocacy for relapsing polychondritis awareness, patient care and research.
Jeff is a pioneer of the Race for RP program. His energy, expertise and ideas helped launch our motorsports program. And in 2017, Jeff played a key role in organizing the Twilight Ride for RP at Laguna Seca, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT3PmCleYmg&t=1s
Jeff Westphal’s racing background is excellent. A standout at a young age, Jeff showed his natural gift for racing on a kart track, but shortly thereafter found himself behind the wheel as an impressive up-and-comer of Infineon Raceway, and ultimately exploding onto some of racing’s top series and circuits. Jeff has competed in the F2000 Championship, setting the win record for the series with PR1 Motorsports, won Grand Am Rolex Races, Redline & Global Time Attack Championships Unlimited class for GST Motorsport (9 track records), as well as wins in IMSA WeatherTech Championship and abroad in Germany’s GT3 championship VLN. Jeff was also the first (and only) American driver to qualify on the pole for the 24HRs of Nurburgring, and most recently won the inaugural California 8Hrs.
Please see Jeff’s biography in our [Meet Our Drivers] section.
Please join us in welcoming Jeff to the Race for RP team of drivers. We thank him for his outstanding support.
$50,000 Donation to be Used in the Area Of Relapsing Polychondritis, Including Patient-Related Travel to The National Institutes Of Health (NIH) – August 3, 2018
The Relapsing Polychondritis Awareness and Support Foundation Inc. (RPASF) has announced that a $50,000 donation was made by current RPASF directors and officers to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) to support intramural research in the area of relapsing polychondritis (“RP”), including patient-related travel to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Marcelli Uses Every Ounce of Fuel to Score Home Track Victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park With Stacy, Kohr Motorsports Ford– July 7, 2018
It was a Canadian driver in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge that crossed the finish line first in Saturday’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120.
Kyle Marcelli, who hails from Barrie, Ontario, piloted the No. 60 KohR Motorsports / Roush Performance Ford Mustang GT4 to its third win of its season in the Grand Sport (GS) class with co-driver Nate Stacy. Stacy – in just his seventh series start – qualified the car in fifth place and the team overcame a hitch in their strategy during a mid-race caution to hold on for the win.
“My stint was quite stressful,” said Marcelli. “It was a miscommunication on the radio. When we got the full-course caution I was behind the safety car in Turn 8 and Dean Martin, our crew chief, asked me my opinion on if we should take fuel only. I was giving my answer through Turn 9 and as I released the radio button, he was yelling ‘Pit, pit, pit’ and I already missed the pit entry.
“I was kicking myself in the butt after that, and it just became a fuel conservation race for us. I just went to the fuel used page on the dash and called in the number every lap. We were basically using the gearbox to slow the car down. It paid off, we ended up saving about two and a half laps of fuel and I was able to win.”
The No. 60 Ford wound up running out of fuel on its way to the podium after the race.
After entering the weekend third place in the GS championship standings, the victory jumps Marcelli and Stacy into the points lead as the 2018 Continental Tire Challenge season is halfway complete.
AARDA Ambassador Kyle Marcelli Looking to Continue His Impressive Winning Streak at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park as Part of the Detroit Grand Prix – June 1st, 2018
Near AARDA headquarters, Kyle Marcelli will be co-driving the 3GT Racing No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 for the fourth race of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship series at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park on June 2nd.
Marcelli, fresh off his two impressive victories in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (May 5th) and WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (May 6th) at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, was given the 2018 Autoimmune Disease Awareness Champion award from the Allegheny Health Network Autoimmunity Institute, AARDA, and the Race for relapsing polychondritis (“RP”) as part of the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of the Allegheny Health Network’s Autoimmunity Institute (May 24th).
In the Motor City, where autoimmune disease has been mistaken for automobile addiction, Marcelli continues his success as an ambassador for AARDA and the Race for RP by driving awareness for this major health problem and disease category.
AARDA Announces a Collaborative Partnership with AHN and the New Autoimmunity Institute – May 25, 2018
AARDA is the only national nonprofit to address autoimmune disease as a category of disease. There are well over 100 autoimmune diseases including psoriasis, Graves’ disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, type 1 diabetes, relapsing polychondritis, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and lupus.
The AHN Autoimmunity Institute, with its hub at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is an unprecedented venture focused on integrated multispecialty care and multidisciplinary research for patients with all autoimmune diseases. More than a dozen specialties care for patients in a single 16,000 square foot suite. The patient care team is tightly integrated with clinical and translational research, education, training, and outreach for patients with any autoimmune diseases.
Kyle Marcelli, AARDA Ambassador, Wins Two Races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Raises Awareness about Autoimmune Disorders – May 8, 2018
Kyle Marcelli, ambassador for the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. (AARDA) had an extraordinary weekend winning two highly competitive races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
On Saturday, May 5th, Kyle and his co-driver, Nate Stacy, won their second straight victory in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge driving the No. 60 KohR Motorsports / Roush Performance Ford Mustang GT4 as part of the return of International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) to the track that has been called “the most competitive in the U.S.”
“We are thrilled for Kyle and his race teams. He is an accomplished driver and a wonderful ambassador in the autoimmune disease community,” said Virginia Ladd, President and Executive Director of AARDA. “There are over a hundred autoimmune diseases, impacting approximately 50 million Americans, and Kyle continues to find innovative ways to generate public awareness about the need for autoimmune care and research by connecting with the vast motorsports audience.”
In addition to winning the Continental Tire Challenge, on Sunday, May 6th, Kyle and his co-driver, Dominik Baumann, won the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship in 3GT Racing’s No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 in a dramatic race to the finish line.
Lexus put forth the dominating performance it had been dreaming of since entering the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class in 2017, Sunday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
It was just a matter of which of the two Lexus RC F GT3s was going to pull off the feat.
Saturday afternoon, Jack Hawksworth in the No. 15 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 scored the manufacturer’s second WeatherTech Championship Motul Pole Award. While the drivers of the team’s other entry – Kyle Marcelli and Dominik Baumann in the No. 14 Lexus completed the 1-2 sweep of qualifying.
MARCELLI STORMS TO MID-OHIO CONTINENTAL TIRE CHALLENGE WIN IN IMPRESSIVE SECOND STRAIGHT VICTORY – May 5, 2018
A double-digit deficit and a sputtering fuel tank wouldn’t keep Kyle Marcelli from victory in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge on Saturday afternoon.
Marcelli took the reins of the No. 60 Roush Performance / KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 from co-driver Nate Stacy and found himself over 10 seconds behind leader Patrick Gallagher in the No. 8 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4. Marcelli wiped the deficit clean with just over three minutes remaining in the race, eventually passing Gallagher – whose co-driver Chad McCumbee put the car on pole – to steal the win.
Allegheny Health Network’s Autoimmunity Institute and AARDA Join Kyle Marcelli and 3GT Racing for Mid-Ohio Race to Help Raise Awareness about Autoimmune Disorders – May 3, 2018
The livery of the 3GT Racing No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3, driven by Kyle Marcelli, will be adorned in new sponsorship logos representing the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Autoimmunity Institute and the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. (AARDA) for the third race of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, May 4-6, 2018.
3GT Racing Adds New Sponsors For Mid-Ohio – May 3, 2018
3GT Racing will have a change in sponsorship for the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 for the first sprint race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The No. 14, with drivers Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli, will sport new sponsorship logos representing the Allegheny Health Network’s Autoimmunity Institute, the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association Inc. and the Race for RP (relapsing polychondritis).
For the second consecutive year at Sebring International Raceway, a Ford Mustang GT4 claimed victory in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. While a couple series veterans – Scott Maxwell and Jade Buford – won last year, it was a pair of relatively new faces this time on the top step of the podium. Kyle Marcelli and Nate Stacy held on for the final 20 of 47 laps in the two-hour timed race to secure…