By: Alyssa Milano
For many of us, it’s hard to imagine what life would be like with a devastating and debilitating disease like Lymphatic Filariasis (LF). LF, also known as elephantiasis, is found in many tropical climates and is transmitted to humans through the bite of a mosquito- causing painful swelling of the limbs.
For a disease that so many people haven’t even heard of, it’s shocking to hear that it impacts over 120 million worldwide.
That’s 120 million people whose limbs are severely disfigured, making it difficult to walk. They aren’t able to work. Or take care of their families. Many are ostracized or even shunned by those in their communities. LF may not necessarily kill its victims, but it strips away dreams and perpetuates poverty.
Through my work as the founding Ambassador for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, I learned about a project in India that helps over 23,000 people suffering from LF by teaching them how to treat and care for themselves, literally putting them back on their feet. The program also educates their families and the community about the disease making it less stigmatizing.
There is no cure for people whose limbs have already been impacted by the disease, but there are cost effective, proven interventions that can prevent transmission and alleviate the severity of the disease in those who are already infected.
However, to keep the program alive it needs a major funding boost of $75,000. When you think about it, $75,000 isn’t very expensive — only about $3.25 per person, per year — a small amount of money can make a huge impact.
That’s why, all this week, I’ve teamed up with Tonic, and the Global Network to ask all my fans to band together and contribute to this, the worthiest and most cost-effective cause we can imagine.
Please donate what you can, right here, right now.