The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) has named as its newest national ambassador Dorothy Toran, who heads production at Sirens Media, a division of ITV America.
Toran lost her younger sister, Weade Williams-Bridges, to lupus in September 2016. She vowed to honor her sister’s legacy by leveraging her position as a TV producer to raise awareness about lupus and increase support for people affected by the disease.
Williams-Bridges died at 33 due to complications from lupus after spending nearly her entire life struggling with several autoimmune diseases.
“Every day, our family struggles to find peace, purpose and understanding in the inexplicable loss of Weade,” Toran said in a LFA news story. “I am committing my voice and influence to raise awareness and advocate for better treatment options and organ donation programs, as well as more federal spending for aggressive lupus research. More must be done to find a cure and finally bring an end to lupus. Lupus will not win!”
At Sirens Media, Toran produces several reality TV franchises, including Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
As LFA’s national ambassador, Toran — who has two daughters — will participate in public speeches, media interviews, panel discussions and other awareness activities about lupus.
In other related news, this past March, the Washington-based LFA launched a new National Resource Center on Lupus — an online tool providing reliable, informed resources, programs and emotional support services. The center aims to connect, empower and educate patients, healthcare professionals and family members and all those whose lives have been touched by lupus.
Content is based on results from the LFA’s 2016 National Needs Assessment, and is organized around four main categories: Understanding Lupus, Diagnosing Lupus, Living with Lupus and Research on Lupus. The online platform has special content for children and teens, to include their unique perspectives.