The Lupus Foundation of America Unveils the 'Cruel Mystery' of Lupus to Richmond

Mar 14, 2013, 16:07 ET from Lupus Foundation of America

New Survey Shows Most Americans Know Little to Nothing About Disease; Tour Bus with Interactive Experience of Lupus Is Making Multiple Stops in Richmond

RICHMOND, Va., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of Richmond residents are expected to hop on board a 45-foot purple bus March 14-16 to learn about lupus, a mysterious and devastating disease that disproportionately affects minorities and women. The Help Us Solve the Cruel Mystery™ National Tour is organized by the Lupus Foundation of America.


More than half of Richmond's population is African-American, placing them in a high-risk category for lupus, but a recent nationwide survey found that one out of two African-Americans has never heard of lupus or knows little to nothing about it. Blacks are two to three times more likely than Caucasians to develop the disease.

Building awareness of lupus is essential to improve the diagnosis and treatment of this unpredictable and misunderstood disease.

Another feature of the tour will be a patient medical education event, where area residents will learn from experts about lupus symptoms, the latest research and treatments, and how to access needed benefits like disability. Sen. A. Donald McEachin of Virginia's 9th District will address the event, 'Lupus: Living and Learning™', that will be held on Saturday, March 16, from 1:00-4:00pm at the Virginia Commonwealth University, Jackson Ward Room & Court End Ballroom 900 Turpin St, Richmond, VA 23219.

The bus will be in Richmond and open to the public Thursday, March 14Saturday, March 16 which includes the following stops:

Thursday, Mar. 14

9am-1:00pm Virginia Commonwealth University Campus

(Final location TBD)

Friday, Mar. 15

9am-11:30am Bon Secours Health System Hospital-St Mary's

5801 Bremo Road; Richmond

12:00pm-2:30 pm Bon Secours Health Systems Hospital -St. Francis

13710 St. Francis Boulevard; Midlothian

3:00pm-6:00pm  Richmond City Health District Services-

400 E. Cary Street;  Richmond

Saturday, Mar. 16

10:00am-2:00pm Regency Square Shopping Mall

1420 N. Parham Road; Richmond

3:00pm-5:00pm Virginia Commonwealth University  Larrick Center-

900 Turpin Street; Richmond

Visitors to the bus also can take action to support those affected by lupus by signing a petition asking Congress to fund lupus research. Residents can also go online to sign the petition at

"Lupus is a significant concern in our region," said Jessica Gilbart, president and CEO of the DMV Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America.  "Thousands of Virginians live with lupus and the risk is especially high among people of color.  Because 50 percent of Richmond is comprised of African Americans, we want to raise awareness on the signs and symptoms of lupus and educate patients about how to live well with the disease. The tour will educate residents about this brutal disease that can strike any one at any time."

The Lupus Foundation of America, DC/MD/VA Chapter provides residents in its coverage area with current information, education programs, support groups, and personalized help with the questions that arise for those living with lupus and their family and friends. It also organizes the Walk to End Lupus Now™ in Richmond to raise funds for lupus research and education services. This year's Walk will be held on Oct. 6.

"When I was diagnosed with lupus, I had no idea what to expect," said Tracee Logan, a Richmond resident who has lupus. "I never thought that every day would be unpredictable, mysterious, and – at times—devastating. Had I known then what I know today, I know I would have been better able to manage the disease. With lupus, education is key."

The Lupus Foundation of America launched this campaign to show lupus for what it really is—the cruel mystery. The campaign, along with the Foundation's new rallying cry, Help Us Solve the Cruel Mystery™, aims to energize the public and ultimately Congress to devote serious resources to lupus research.

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, the Foundation leads the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus. Learn more about the Lupus Foundation of America at For the latest news and updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About the Lupus Foundation of America, DC/MD/VA Chapter
The Lupus Foundation of America, DC/MD/VA Chapter is part of the national force devoted to solving the cruel mystery of lupus while providing caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. We work with local health professionals and volunteers to provide information and programs to ensure people with lupus and their families get answers and health professionals know about new means to diagnose and manage the disease. For more information about lupus or the DC/MD/VA chapter, visit or call (888) 787-5380. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America