The Lupus Research Alliance is marking Lupus Awareness Month in May with a Breaking through for YOU campaign.
“For us, May is more than 31 days of just raising awareness,” Margaret G. Dowd, the alliance’s co-CEO, said in a press release. “It is the time to provide the real and solid hope of bold research, proven results and the promise of unprecedented progress. It is the time to inspire us all to unite and join one common mission: to free the world of lupus through the power of science.”
Breaking through for YOU is the first campaign of the alliance, which was formed through the merging of the Alliance for Lupus Research, the Lupus Research Institute, and the Lupus Foundation. The campaign is aimed at focusing world attention on “the urgent need to embrace a new scientific era, continue to push the frontiers of knowledge and pioneer discovery that can transform patients’ lives and deliver a future without lupus,” the alliance said.
During Lupus Awareness Month, people with the disease will be able to share their stories, raise awareness of the disease, raise money for research, and provide valuable feedback on drug development.
One of this month’s events is a regional Research and Advocacy Conference: the Promise and the Progress on May 6.
Another is the Walk with Us to Cure Lupus in several U.S. cities. Its goal is to bring the lupus community together to support research.
This year the alliance is financing and supporting 80 new research efforts. Past and ongoing projects include the discovery of genes involved in lupus development, and research on B-cells, immune system cells thought to contribute to the injury seen in lupus.
The alliance also organizes and funds a clinical-trial network that includes 59 research centers in cities across North America. It will start clinical trials this month that will be conducted by its Lupus Clinical Investigators Network.
In addition, the alliance has lined up congressional support for millions of dollars in funding for lupus research. At a time when national healthcare policy is being re-evaluated, the alliance’s Legislative Action Center is urging Congress to support policies to keep lupus patients safe and ensure funding for future research.
“As the world’s leading private funder of lupus research, the Lupus Research Alliance truly is breaking through, pushing past today’s limitations to the discoveries of a new frontier,” said co-CEO Kenneth M. Farber. “We are shaping the future of lupus care with a highly effective arsenal of tools that encompasses the full spectrum of research, impassioned advocacy, engaged patients and committed supporters.”
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is estimated that more than 90% of lupus patients are women, mostly between the ages of 15 to 44. Women of color are especially at risk. In lupus, the body’s own immune system attacks tissues and organs — the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.