A diagnosis of lupus can be life-altering. Many patients are seriously affected by their disrupted lifestyle following diagnosis. The name of the campaign stems from the daily struggles that lupus patients are faced with, including being forced to “cut out” things from their lives as they manage the disease.
Patients might see their lives turned upside down as early as 12 years old, as making friends, playing and participating in sports can be quickly replaced with doctor appointments, generalized stress, and anxiety and concern for their lives.
Typical symptoms of lupus include constant aching or swollen joints, weak or painful muscles, high frequent fevers, extreme fatigue or exhaustion, hair loss, or rashes, which all can take a toll. Lupus patients frequently seek help in support groups and meet with other patients to chat about coping skills, new research, or about non-related topics to reduce their feelings of being alone.
The 14-day challenge asks participants to cut out one thing from their lives for 14 days, something like daily coffee, or dinner desserts, or even going to the movies, and share their journey with their social media community. What will be cut out is decided by each participant. Making this small sacrifice for 14 days likely will save some money, which can be donated to the LFA’s national research effort.
According to a LFA press release, all “Cut it Out” donations will help fund investigational stem cell research that potentially can decrease the long-term effects of lupus, stop damage to vital organs, and eventually save lives. The LFA believes that this group effort will make a difference in the lives of lupus patients.
The “Cut it Out” challenge is a rolling campaign, meaning a person can begin whenever it suits him or her best. Additional information on how to participate in the challenge can be found here.
According to the LFA, at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus, and more than 16,000 new cases of the disease are reported annually across the country. Worldwide it is estimated that 5 million people have a form of lupus.