In this episode we will discuss Sarcoidosis with Frank. Frank is the Founder and President of Sarcoidosis of Long Island, is a WEGO Health Patient Leader,a Patient Ambassador at Illumina Inc, and a volunteer Patient Ambassador at The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research.
Frank Rivera founded Sarcoidosis of Long Island in 2012. In 2011 Frank was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis after being misdiagnosed with lung cancer for 7 years prior. Since opening Sarcoidosis of Long Island he has been a local, state and federal advocate for Sarcoidosis. Frank strives to raise awareness for Sarcoidosis nationally, but specifically in the government sector. He has represented the Rare and Sarcoidosis community as a speaker at two Congressional briefings for Sarcoidosis.
Frank is a National Ambassador for Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, a Global Genes RARE Foundation Alliance Member & Advocate, an ambassador for The EveryLife Foundation and a Working Group Member and Long Island Liaison for National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD). Named RUGD Ambassador for Illumina October 2017. Frank was named "Person of the Year " in Brookhaven Town.
Frank organized RareNY in 2016, to raise awareness for Rare Diseases in the state of New York. He organized “A Day for Rare Diseases” on October 15th, 2016 in Long Island NY, in partnership with Global Genes, to raised awareness for all 7000+ rare diseases. In recognition of Frank’s efforts, Suffolk County and the town of Brookhaven officially declared October 15th “A Day for Rare Diseases”.
Sarcoidosis is a disease characterized by the growth of tiny collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas) in any part of your body — most commonly the lungs and lymph nodes. But it can also affect the eyes, skin, heart and other organs.
The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown, but experts think it results from the body's immune system responding to an unknown substance. Some research suggests that infectious agents, chemicals, dust and a potential abnormal reaction to the body's own proteins (self-proteins) could be responsible for the formation of granulomas in people who are genetically predisposed.
There is no cure for sarcoidosis, but most people do very well with no treatment or only modest treatment. In some cases, sarcoidosis goes away on its own. However, sarcoidosis may last for years and may cause organ damage. (Mayo Clinic)