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07-21-2007, 09:31 PM
Psoriasis Cure Now, a nonprofit patient advocacy group, recently launched an amateur video contest and will award a $7,500 Grand Prize to the person who creates the best 30 to 60 second video about psoriasis, a serious immune system disease. Having seen the great amateur videos created about snack foods, credit cards, ketchup and even tax preparation software, the psoriasis patient group concluded that unleashing the creative spirit of everyone with a camcorder was the best way to educate the public about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. A participant need not have psoriasis to enter or win the contest, which is on the internet at http://www.psoriasis-cure-now.org/contest (http://www.psoriasis-cure-now.org/contest).

"An amateur video contest about psoriasis may sound flaky, but no one has yet been able to solve the stigma problem faced by people with psoriasis," said Michael Paranzino, president of Psoriasis Cure Now and a psoriasis patient himself. "Let's give the YouTube generation a shot at it."

Psoriasis continues to be a punch line for second-tier comedians and is still dismissed at times as cosmetic, even though for millions it is a daily impediment and can be debilitating. The grand prize amount is designed to reflect the as many as 7.5 million Americans with the disease.

To win the contest, participants must create a short video that educates the public about the seriousness of psoriasis. Further details are available on the website in the Official Rules, which govern the contest and are must-reading for all participants. The video can be serious, humorous, autobiographical or fictional. Those selected as Finalists will each receive $250 and be eligible for the $7,500 Grand Prize, and an Early Bird prize of $1,000 will be given to the person who submits the best video of those entered through August 15.

Psoriasis Cure Now has high hopes for the winning videos, if uncertainty about what to expect. "We'll send the winning videos to health insurers. To Members of Congress. To journalists," Paranzino added. "Will people enter a video contest about psoriasis? We don't know. But the issue is important enough that we'll invest $10,000 to find out."

http://www.psoriasis-cure-now.org (http://www.psoriasis-cure-now.org/)