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IDF Volunteer in NYC brings awareness to Primary Immunodeficiency Disease Awareness Month

Joanna Tierno and her husband Chris

IDF volunteer from New York Joanna Tierno was featured in an article by SI Live, a website dedicated to local news in Staten Island, NY, talking about her life with a primary immunodeficiency disease.  Joanna explained he need for immunoglobulin replacement therapy and walked the general public through her treatment regimes.  Christopher Schalchunes, Director of Survey Research, and Joanna both emphasized the need to raise awareness among medical professionals about primary immunodeficiency diseases and the need to “THINK ZEBRA” when diagnosing.  Joanna was also successful in advocating to have the New York State Assembly adopt a resolution declaring April as Primary Immunodeficiency Disease Awareness month.

It took a lot of courage for Joanna to put herself out in the public eye and talk about her disease. In doing so, she did a great service to the whole PIDD community by raising awareness and educating the public!  This is another great example of the many ways in which IDF’s amazing volunteers take the initiative to advocate for themselves and the community.

To read the article about Joanna, please visit

Joanna Tierno with her infusion pump

For more information about using the media for advocacy, check out the Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit. Remember, IDF is here to help!  Please talk with us, and we would be happy to work with individuals to craft an effective message.

Please let IDF know if you are involved in any Community in Action in your community. Comment below or fill out the Contact form at the top of the page to have your story featured in a future blog post.


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