Walk with Tori to raise funds in battle against rare disease

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Tori Anderson is best known for fronting the band Possum Holler and her work as an on air personality for WAYZ radio. She was easily convinced to use her minor regional celebrity to bring some attention to a cause. Along with about 300,000 other undeserving individuals, Tori shares a relatively unknown disease called scleroderma.

Scleroderma means hardening of the skin. Scleroderma is a connective tissue disease that involves changes in the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs. It is a type of auto-immune disorder, a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. Currently doctors can treat the symptoms, but there is no cure.

It is Tori’s hope along with members of her team of friends (some also with disease) that a planned event will help bring about changes. The group has organized a “Walk with Tori — Wishing for a Cure” event that will take place Sunday, Sept. 11 at Doubs Park in Hagerstown, near South Hagerstown High School, to raise awareness and funds for research for a cure.

Registration is scheduled for 1 p.m. with a walk around the park planned for 3 p.m. The park layout allows for most all walking abilities. There will be silent auctions, raffles, a balloon artist, music and great fellowship. It is recommended to bring a lawn chair.

Scleroderma can be very painful and has affected many lives without much attention or funding in the research world. That leaves little hope of a cure when you’re suffering with the condition. Tori said, “I have always believed in making a difference whenever possible. People helping people, willingly and sympathetically, yet sometimes unless you are personally affected by something, you don’t realize the impact you can make.”

Three years ago Tori was diagnosed with the systemic strand. She and the members of Possum Holler decided to call 2011 their final year after a long string of performances dating back to the Rocky Gap festival in 1995. Their final scheduled performance is set for the Apple Butter Festival in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Sunday, Oct. 9.

Another way to contribute in the battle against the disease is to make a tax deductible contribution  at http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/walkwithtori/