Country music artist Ashley Barron has been named a Celebrity Ambassador for the National Scleroderma Foundation, a role she will take on to increase understanding and awareness of scleroderma as she takes her music on tour this spring and summer in across the United States.
“I am so honored to have the opportunity to work alongside the National Scleroderma Foundation to raise awareness about this disease,” Barron said in a press release.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that causes hardening and tightening of the skin. The systemic type of scleroderma, also called systemic sclerosis, also affects blood vessels and internal organs.
When Barron was diagnosed with scleroderma at age 5, she and her family were unaware of the disease.
“We had never heard of scleroderma before,” Barron said in a promotional video released by the foundation. “I didn’t know anyone who had scleroderma. I didn’t know there were resources there. And so it was just my parents and I trying to navigate this journey.
“When I was diagnosed at the age of 5, I never thought I would one day have the opportunity to provide support and community to others that I didn’t have,” added Barron. “I’m very excited for the future and what’s to come.”
His mother, Carol Lee Barron, was also diagnosed with systemic sclerosis in 2020, four months before she died from the disease.
“This is going to be an amazing opportunity, not just for me to get involved and raise awareness, but to honor my mom,” Barron said.
Her latest single, “The Wind,” featured on her self-titled debut album, is an encouraging song about staying strong and moving forward in life even when the going gets tough.
“Ashley is in a unique position to help others with scleroderma find the best path forward,” said Mary J. Wheatley, CEO of the foundation.
“As a talented artist, as someone who has scleroderma herself, and as someone who lost her mother to the disease, Ashley’s compelling story can touch those in her audience who have need to know about the disease and the work the National Scleroderma Foundation is doing to address it,” Wheatley added.
The foundation is partnering with Barron’s recording label, SSM Nashville Records, to plan public appearances, both virtual and in-person, at which she will share her songs and stories.