Monday, May 17, 2010

Lupus Awareness

I've shared the story of my life with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus here before. Now Lupus Awareness month falls in May, and I feel that even though I'm not keeping up with the blog as regularly as I used to, I need to promote awareness and help to quell some falsehoods that might have arisen during the Miss USA pageant last night.

It seems that during the Miss USA pageant, Morgan Woolard, the runner up for Miss America (from Oklahoma), claimed that she cured herself of Lupus. Obviously, this is impossible (unless she had drug-induced lupus, which is a bit misleading). Spreading false information like this in such a public forum hurts the efforts of all of us who are working towards promoting awareness for Lupus, and it belittles those of us who have been fighting this illness day in and day out. Spread the word...learn the facts about Lupus at the Lupus Foundation of America website.

I live in Greece, so I did not have the opportunity to watch the pageant first-hand. I only heard about Ms. Woolard's claims from scores of angry Lupus patients across the internet. Still, misinformation is no way to promote awareness, especially when it is estimated that around 80% of the public knows very little or nothing about Lupus - and so I wanted to share the facts.

From the Lupus Foundation of America website:

It is true that medical science has not yet developed a method for curing lupus. And some people do die from the disease. However, people with non-organ threatening aspects of lupus can look forward to a normal lifespan if they:

  • follow the instructions of their physician,
  • take their medication(s) as prescribed, and
  • know when to seek help for unexpected side effects of a medication or a new manifestation of their lupus.

Although some people with lupus have severe recurrent attacks and are frequently hospitalized, most people with lupus rarely require hospitalization. There are many lupus patients who never have to be hospitalized, especially if they are careful and follow their physician's instructions.

New research brings unexpected findings each year. The progress made in treatment and diagnosis during the last decade has been greater than that made over the past 100 years. It is therefore a sensible idea to maintain control of a disease that tomorrow may be curable.

Please spread the word and Band Together for Lupus!

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