Categorized | National News

POP For Lupus Awareness

With May being recognized as Lupus Awareness Month around the world, the local support group known as Lupus 242 is set to host a series of events and activities that is anticipated to raise awareness of the disease that plagues many Bahamians.


Being in its fifth year, the group pushes issues associated with lupus to the forefront in order to get more persons aware and involved in support against the fight for the disease.


Lupus242, which officially launched in April 2012 to provide information and support to lupus fighters and their supporters, is a non-profit organization that seeks to be a resource for newly diagnosed patients and for persons who have been living with the debilitating disease for decades.


This month’s activities for Lupus 242 includes the popular Put On Purple (POP), or POP Fridays, where the group encourages Bahamians from every corner of the archipelago to wear purple every Friday in the month of May in support of lupus fighters.


Also, in an effort to increase public participation and the level of awareness, Lupus 242 has partnered with the new telecommunications company, Aliv, on POP Fridays, along with other initiatives.


On Sunday May 7, Lupus 242 will worship at Bahamas Harvest Church, in preparation for World Lupus Day on Wednesday May 10, 2017.


Vice President of the organization as well as Public Relations Officer Shonalee Johnson said although this day is set aside for this terms general election, it is also a special day in the world of Lupus fighters and supporters to let the world know how this disease impacts the lives of many Bahamians.


“An important date every year on our calendar is May 10, World Lupus Day which is commemorated globally.


It’s a day when we stop to recognize the impact lupus has on lives here in The Bahamas.


“And while we know that this year, the date falls on the day of The Bahamas’ general elections, we are encouraging all Bahamians, especially persons who would like to dress in neutral colors while voting to POP at the polls, vote, take photos, and post online using the hastag #POPAtThePolls and tag our group!,” Mrs. Johnson said.


Other events on tap for the month of May include Friday May 12, when Lupus 242 and Big Picture Paint and Sip Studio will hold a POP, Paint and Sip fundraising event.


Saturday May 20, Bahamians will gather at the top of Fort Charlotte for the Hope Floats, a balloon release ceremony to remember those who have died from lupus.


This year, the event will be held in the honour of Lupus 242 President Shanelle Brennen, who died of complications from the illness in March 2017.


A Lupus 242 Health Talk with local Rheumatologist Dr. K. Neil Parker is scheduled for Saturday, May 27, at the Harry C. Moore Library at the University of The Bahamas.


The month of activities will end with a presentation to the Rotary Club of Old Fort Bay.


The chronic, autoimmune disease affects an estimated 5.5 million persons worldwide. Studies also show that lupus is caused by several factors which include but is not limited to genetics, environment and hormonal imbalances in the body.


The disease, lupus, is often hard to diagnose with symptoms ranging from severe pain, fatigue and unexplained flare-ups impacting random parts of the body especially internal organs.


There is no known cause for the disease and presently, statistics on the number of persons in The Bahamas living with lupus are limited.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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