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Lupus Foundation to Host Community Outreach Initiatives
Date:3/10/2008

Events Geared to Build Awareness of the Disease that Strikes Over One

Million

PHILADELPHIA, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Approximately 1.5 million Americans (20,000 in the Philadelphia area alone) have a form of lupus, the chronic (incurable) disease that can result in severe joint pain and swelling, fevers, fatigue, skin rashes, anemia, chest pains, sun sensitivity, and other health effects, including organ failure and death. Lupus mostly strikes women of childbearing age -- between 15 and 44 -- although men and women of all ages can develop the disease as well. The Lupus Foundation of America, Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter is sponsoring a number of community events this spring and summer to spread the word about diagnosis and support programs. The purpose of the initiative is to educate and support individuals with lupus and their families as well as raise funds to support local programs, services and research in our area.

Upcoming activities:

2008 Lupus Advocacy Day -- Bus Trip to Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008, 7 a.m. departure.

Buses leave from:

Springfield H.S., 1801 E. Paper Mill Rd., Erdenheim, PA

St. Hilary's School, 920 Susquehanna Rd., Rydal, PA

TJ Maxx, 550 E. Lancaster Ave., St. David's, PA

Park & Ride off I-95 at Rt. 896, Newark, DE

Advocates and LFA members will travel together to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress. The goal is to personally inform them how debilitating lupus can be and to urge them to allocate more funds for lupus research and education. 91 participants, including students from Springfield High School and St. Hilary's School will be meeting with the legislators.

Medical research leads to the discovery of new, safer, and more effective treatments for lupus, and ultimately a cure. There has been no new drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat lupus in nearly 40 years. Many current drug treatments for lupus have toxic side effects that can be almost as harmful as the disease itself. With more research there is more hope.

Lupus Live Chat -- "Kidneys and Lupus" with James Tumlin, M.D.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

3:00 p.m. EDT

Go to http://www.lupus.org and click on "web chats" for sign-on

information.

It is estimated that as many as 40 percent of all people with the autoimmune disease lupus, and as many as two-thirds of all children with lupus, will develop kidney complications that require medical evaluation and treatment.

March is National Kidney Month and the LFA is using the observance to call attention to this serious and potentially life-threatening complication of lupus.

Dr. James Tumlin is Director of the Southeast Renal Research Institute in Charlotte, NC, and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, focusing upon clinical and translational research in renal disease.

SLESH (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Self-Help) Course

This seven-week program is free of charge and is designed to teach people with lupus how to take a more active part in their health care and live better with this chronic disease.

Each weekly session is facilitated by a team of trained volunteers and will include topics such as basic medical information about lupus, medications and treatments, exercise, doctor-patient communication, fatigue management and relaxation and stress management techniques. Pre-registration is required.

Classes will be held: Wednesdays, April 2 to May 14, 2008

Abington Memorial Health Center, Schilling Campus

Willowood Bldg., Suite 163

2500 Maryland Rd., Willow Grove, PA

World Lupus Day Awareness Rally

Join Sheldon Brown, #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles, and other special guests, as they join us in our efforts to raise awareness of this disease. World Lupus Day is Saturday, May 10, 2008. The local celebration is observed on Thursday, May 8th! Bring your lunch and enjoy live music, educational booths and other surprises!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Love Park in Philadelphia, 16th St. & JFK Blvd.

14th Annual Lupus Links Golf Tournament

Come join celebrity golfer Sheldon Brown and other golf enthusiasts as they spend a beautiful summer day on a new course. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Philmont Country Club

301 Tomlinson Rd.

Huntingdon Valley, PA

The cause of lupus is unknown, though researchers believe lupus has a genetic basis and certain environmental influences can trigger disease activity in individuals predisposed to lupus. There is no cure for lupus, but medications are prescribed that can control the disease in most individuals. Unfortunately, current therapies for lupus can be toxic, causing other health problems, and no new medicines have been approved specifically to treat lupus symptoms in more than thirty years. But new research offers hope that safer and more effective treatments will be made available in the not too distant future.

"We are excited about the upcoming events our Chapter is sponsoring and encourage all members of the Philadelphia community to join us in supporting our cause," said Annette Myarick, Executive Director of The Lupus Foundation of America, Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter. "It is vital for our community to learn more about lupus and to know that our Foundation is here and ready to help."

The Lupus Foundation of America is based in Washington, DC, and is the nation's leading nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated to improving the diagnosis and treatment of lupus, supporting individuals and families affected by the disease, increasing awareness of lupus among health professionals and the public, and finding the cure. For more information and to register for events, visit The Lupus Foundation of Southeastern Pennsylvania's website at http://www.lupus-sepa.org or contact our office at 215.517.5070. Education and Outreach activities are sponsored in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.


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SOURCE The Lupus Foundation of America
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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