WASHINGTON, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lupus Foundation of America is calling on all Americans to join the fight against lupus this May during Lupus Awareness Month and take action to help expand lupus research efforts. Lupus is a mysterious and devastating disease that ravages different parts of the body and has no known cause and no known cure.
The disease is more pervasive and more severe than people think, and has an impact that the public doesn't realize. A recent survey revealed nearly three-fourths of Americans ages 18 to 34 – those at the highest risk for lupus – have never heard of lupus or know little or nothing about lupus beyond its name.
Building awareness of lupus is essential to improving the diagnosis and treatment of this cruel disease that disproportionately affects minorities and women in the prime of their lives.
"Lupus is one of the most misunderstood diseases there is, and research to better understand the disease and discover effective treatments is greatly underfunded relative to the disease's scope and devastation," explains Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America. "Without sufficient funding from public and private sources, research efforts to find the causes of lupus and discover new safe, tolerable and effective lupus treatments will be delayed, and the search for a cure will be seriously impaired."
The Lupus Foundation of America urges the public – and their families, friends and co-workers – to help solve the cruel mystery by signing a petition that asks Congress to fund more lupus research efforts. The petition is available online at lupus.org/petition.
The Foundation also is empowering individuals, organizations, and companies to educate people in their communities about lupus and the need to expand lupus medical research. During May, the Foundation will provide free tools and resources online at lupus.org/awareness. Tools include reproducible fliers, daily facts about lupus, and web banner ads.
One of many activities that will occur during Lupus Awareness Month is Put On Purple Day on Friday, May 17. Purple is the color used by the lupus community. The Foundation asks everyone to wear purple, work with community leaders to illuminate local fountains and buildings in purple that day, and tell others why they support people affected by lupus.
Other ways the public can join the fight to end lupus during Lupus Awareness Month include:
- Share Lupus Information with Friends, Family and Colleagues – Post fliers throughout the office and the community. Share daily facts about lupus or place a banner within newsletters, on websites, and on social media sites.
- Lupus Voices – Post personal stories on lupusvoices.org to explain why lupus is a cruel mystery. The Foundation will share these stories through social media and other channels during May.
- Faith-Based Awareness Weekend (May 18-19) – The Foundation is supporting a faith-based lupus awareness weekend at places of worship around the nation. Help your place of worship get involved.
- Purple Wristbands – Distribute the purple "Help Us Solve the Cruel Mystery™" wristbands to friends and co-workers (available for purchase at shoplupus.org).
- Walk to End Lupus NowTM – Visit WalkToEndLupusNow.org to find a Lupus Foundation of America Walk in your community, and put together a team of walkers. Every step raises money for lupus research and education services.
For more information about Lupus Awareness Month and ways to join the fight, visit the Lupus Foundation of America's website at lupus.org/awareness.
Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with, and a challenge to treat. Lupus is a cruel mystery because it is hidden from view and undefined, has a range of symptoms, strikes without warning, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. Lupus is debilitating and destructive and can be fatal, yet research on lupus has not kept pace with research for other diseases of similar scope and devastation. For more information, visit lupus.org.
About the Lupus Foundation of America
The Lupus Foundation of America is the only national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, one of the world's cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases, while giving caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. Through a comprehensive program of research, education, and advocacy, we lead the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus. Learn more about the Foundation at www.lupus.org. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America