Take steps to fight Lupus | AspenTimes.com

Take steps to fight Lupus

Dear Editor:

On Sunday, June 13, the Lupus Foundation of America’s Walk for Lupus Now will take place in more than 50 cities across America, including Denver (Washington Park). The purpose of the walk is to raise awareness and funds, through sponsorship for participating teams, for research, education and support services for the 1.5 million Americans who suffer from Lupus. More than likely, “Someone you know has Lupus.” Yet, it is estimated that 80 percent of the public know little or nothing about Lupus.

Briefly, Lupus is a chronic, incurable autoimmune disease. Normal immune systems produce antibodies that protect the body from viruses, bacteria and germs. In Lupus, the immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign invaders and healthy tissues, and creates auto-antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue.

Lupus causes damage to virtually every organ system in the body. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, headaches, painful or swollen joints, abnormal blood clotting and fever. I know these symptoms first hand, as I am one of the many with Lupus who suffer from this disease every day of our lives. Because many of these symptoms occur in other illnesses, Lupus is “the great imitator,” and it often takes years for diagnosis. Lupus flares when symptoms are most severe, caused by, among other triggers, antibiotics, infection, exhaustion, emotional stress and exposure to the sun. Lupus affects more than 1.5 million Americans, and more than 5 million people worldwide. Yet, November 2008 marked 50 years since a drug for the treatment of Lupus was approved!

Team Kingsley is a group of mostly locals, hopeful that this letter to our community will raise awareness and sponsors for our participation in the Walk for Lupus. With sponsors, we can work toward finding better treatments and possibly a cure. If you would like to support our efforts, donations may be made online at http://donate.lupus.org/goto/teamkingsley or by check, payable to the Lupus Foundation and mailed to Team Kingsley, c/o Leto/Fightlin, 715 East Hyman Ave., No. 26, Aspen 81611 (please write “Team Kingsley” on the memo line). Any gift, regardless of amount, is greatly appreciated.

To learn more about Lupus, please log on to http://www.lupus.org.

Making a difference starts with one step. We thank you for taking this step!

Team Kingsley