May is Lupus Awareness Month, and the Lupus Foundation of America has started a Know Lupus campaign to increase public understanding of the disease and to raise research money so that a future with “no lupus” might be possible.
Almost two-thirds of U.S. population knows little or nothing about lupus, a difficult-to-diagnose autoimmune disease with a wide range of symptoms, the foundation reported in a press release. Lupus research is also poorly funded in comparison to diseases of a similar scope, it said. Lupus Awareness Month is an effort to address both of these shortcomings.
“Increasing public awareness and understanding of lupus is critical to expanding resources and funding for lupus research, and ultimately ending the devastating impact of this disease,” Sandra C. Raymond, the Lupus Foundation of America’s president and chief executive officer, said in the release. “We can’t do it alone. We need everyone to KNOW LUPUS so we can create a future with NO LUPUS.”
To better understand the disease and address its needs, the foundation is asking the public to:
- Take the “Know Lupus” challenge by playing the KNOW LUPUS Card Game, a test of your knowledge, and invite family and friends to try the challenge, too.
- Participate in Put on Purple Day on Friday, May 20,to show support for people with lupus.
- Make your Mark in the fight against lupus by hosting an event to raise research funds and disease awareness.
- Walk to End Lupus Now by participating — alone or with a team — in a Lupus Foundation of America Walk event in your community, and start raising money for lupus research and educational programs.
Throughout Lupus Awareness Month, celebrity advocates like Whoopi Goldberg, Ian Harding, Susan Lucci, and the cast of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will also be featured in a series of public service announcements, such as this one:
According to the Lupus Foundation, lupus can damage any of the body’s organ or tissues, from the skin or the joints to the heart or kidneys. Common symptoms include fatigue, headaches, painful or swollen joints, fever, and anemia.