The other day in the gym locker room, I overheard a conversation between two elderly women. The first was trying to convince her friends to attend a fundraiser (I missed what it was for). Her friend replied, “There are so many CAUSES now. What are all these diseases? Do they really all need funding? There can’t be that many people suffering if we don’t know about the disease. Can’t you throw a fundraiser to support some sort of cancer? At least I would know that my money is going to a real disease not a hoax.”
I was shocked and troubled by this exchange. Just because someone hasn’t heard of a disease doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Just because someone hasn’t heard of it doesn’t mean that only a few people have it.
It’s Lupus Advocacy Day here in the US… and this is why we need it.
- approx. 1.5million people in the USA alone are fighting lupus. About 5 million world-wide (!!).
- 90% of lupus fighters are women, usually 15-44 years old at diagnosis
Clearly, this is not something that’s affecting only a few people. Moreover, 70% of cases have systemic lupus, and 50% of systemic cases have hit at least one major organ (heart! lungs! kidneys! brain!).
We are being treated with steroids and antimalarials because this is not a disease that get’s a lot of research focus. We haven’t had a new medicine officially approved for lupus for FIFTY years!
It’s Lupus Awareness Day. Please contact your politicians!! Awareness is important. You can do it quickly and easily right here.