Like RA, Lupus awareness month is also in May. And World Lupus Day is May 10th.
In my other post for this month, I'll talk about what it means to have the awareness month for both of my primary illnesses in May. But for now, a bit more information of lupus awareness activities...
World Lupus Day, was started eight years ago as a "call to action" to increase awareness about the disease at the international governmental level (http://www.worldlupusday.org/learn-more.html).
Thanks to campaigns like this, and the campaigns that the Lupus Foundation of America (http://www.lupus.org/newsite/index.html) puts on, there is awareness being raised on a global level about a disease that is very complicated and not well-understood.
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that specifically targets the main organ systems of the body. Like RA, it is characterized by inflammation. It most often occurs in women, and is most prevalent in the 15 to 44 year-old age range.
There are three main forms of lupus: lupus of the skin (discoid), systemic, which can effect the entire body, and drug-induced, caused by certain prescription medications. Lupus is more common in people of African American and Hispanic descent.
But aside from these commonalities, lupus tends to be very variable in symptomology and severity.
According to the World Lupus Day website, "Every day, more than 5 million people worldwide struggle with the often debilitating health consequences of lupus [...]."
I am one of those people, and one of whom was actually diagnosed separately with both Lupus and RA. While many people can experience "overlap" of Lupus and RA symptoms, it is rare to be diagnosed with both illnesses.
This year, along with World Lupus Day on May 10, 2012, the LFA is asking people to Band Together For Lupus Awareness. They are also asking people to Put On Purple, and Put On Purple Day will be May 18, 2012.
But we need to do more.
And we need people who aren't sick to be fighting for us. We can't do it alone.
I hope that not just people with RA and other autoimmune diseases, but society at large will educate itself and become more aware of the disease and its consequences.
So this May, try to do something that will impact lupus awareness in a positive direction. For more information, visit the World Lupus Day and Lupus Foundation of America websites (provided earlier in this post).
And don't forget to enter our Awareness Contest this month.