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Olympian Gail Devers Shares Her Journey for Graves’ Disease Awareness Month

Gail Devers to share inspiring personal story as part of new education initiative and podcast series.

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Olympian Gail Devers Shares Her Journey for Graves’ Disease Awareness Month
Gail Devers

(PRESS RELEASE) DUBLIN — For Graves’ Disease Awareness Month in July, Horizon Therapeutics plc (Nasdaq: HZNP) is teaming up with world-renowned track star and three-time Olympic gold medalist Gail Devers, who has been living with Graves’ disease and symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) for more than 30 years. Horizon and Devers are collaborating with The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, the Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation and Prevent Blindness to help people living with Graves’ disease FOCUS on their eye health.

Up to half of people living with Graves’ disease may develop TED – a serious, progressive and vision-threatening rare autoimmune disease that causes symptoms including eye bulging, double vision and debilitating pain behind the eyes.1,2 Although TED is related to Graves’ disease, it requires specialized treatment separate from Graves’. Spotting the signs and symptoms of TED early can help decrease the chances of serious damage to vision and appearance of the eyes.3

“I struggled with life-changing symptoms for more than two years before I got answers – which is why I’m passionate about raising awareness today, so others don’t have to put their dreams on hold like I did,” said Devers. “But even since my Graves’ disease diagnosis thirty years ago, it wasn’t until recently that I found out that my eye bulging, pain and constant irritation may be caused by a separate disease. I now know they could be associated with Thyroid Eye Disease and I hope my story will inspire others to know their risk and take action.”

This initiative was created to bring attention, education and resources to people who are at risk for TED, including:

  • The new Listen to Your Eyes podcast series, featuring Devers and TED experts
  • Videos and empowerment tips from Devers, available on www.FOCUSonTED.com and the Listen to Your Eyes Facebook and Instagram pages
  • A memory device, available in English and Spanish, that provides steps to help people living with Graves’ disease FOCUS on their eye health, spot the signs of TED and take action

“Gail’s perseverance throughout her health struggles is amazing, and a tremendous example to anyone who is facing what may seem like unsurmountable odds,” said Matt Flesch, vice president, communications and patient advocacy, Horizon. “Her story is a testament to the power of being your own advocate and we hope that together, we can empower others with the education and support they need when navigating the life-changing challenges caused by Thyroid Eye Disease.”

People who are living with Graves’ disease are encouraged to pay attention to changes in their eyes and visit a TED specialist – such as a neuro-ophthalmologist or an oculoplastic surgeon – to get a comprehensive eye exam. To find a nearby TED specialist, visit www.TEDdoctors.com.

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