February 5, 1982

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Scleroderma, a disease that causes hardening of the skin, is a serious connective tissue disorder which affects not only the skin, joints and muscles, but certain internal organs of the body as well. Although the disease can occur at any age, it usually affects several thousands of middle-aged Americans during their productive years and is more prevalent among women than men.

The outlook for victims of scleroderma has improved significantly in recent years. In the past three years, medical researchers have discovered that aggressive treatment with newly-developed antihypertensive drugs succeeds in lowering blood pressure, improving kidney function, and saving lives.

Advances in medical research and education mean that scleroderma patients can now look forward to the opportunity to live more productive and happy lives. Additional research findings and early treatment and diagnoses are vitally needed if we are to eliminate scleroderma and improve the quality of life for its victims.

To increase awareness of scleroderma, recognize progress, and emphasize the need for a continued effort to defeat this disease, the Congress has, by Senate Joint Resolution 57, designated the week of February 7 through February 13, 1982, as National Scleroderma Week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of February 7 through February 13, 1982, as National Scleroderma Week. I urge the people of the United States and educational, philanthropic, biomedical research and health care organizations to work together to discover the cause and cure of scleroderma and other rheumatic diseases and to alleviate the suffering caused by these disorders.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 5th day of Feb., in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:58 p.m., February 5, 1982]