Why is May an important Month?
Lupus Awareness takes place across the country during the month of May. Lupus Awareness is critical for so many reasons. It gives those with lupus hope for a better tomorrow. It also reminds them they are not alone in their fight against lupus. And that lupus matters. They matter.
According to research by the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), it takes on average 6 years for people with lupus to be diagnosed from the time of their first symptoms. This is not acceptable and must change. Early diagnosis leads to better management, prevents long-term complications, and improves the quality of life for those affected by lupus. Jodi--As President of L.I.F.E.--prays for the day when she can no longer state the following statistic.
Lupus is the least-recognized and least-funded major disease to affect Americans.
Anyone can raise awareness of lupus and its symptoms this May--whether they themselves have lupus or they know someone with lupus. For example,
Jennifer Billings—A member of L.I.F.E.’s Team—does not have lupus, yet her dear friend, Jodi, does. Jennifer has written a statement about What Lupus Awareness Month means to someone Touched by Lupus?
I cannot walk a mile in the shoes of my dear friend, Jodi. Even if I was dealt her circumstances in life, I could not follow in her footsteps. She is just one of those people that is inexplicably strong. Over the years, I have watched her beat the odds time and time again. As a child, even before her diagnosis, Jodi's enthusiasm for life formed a wave of determination and optimism that carried others along. When she talked, anything was possible. When she charged ahead, good things happened. When Lupus threatened to undo her, she naturally formed a new wave, this time especially for those who faced the same threat. Each one of these people that Jodi meets inspires her. She offers her compassion and insights, but not without needing the same in return. It's a hard road to travel. To me, Lupus Awareness isn't about understanding the nuances of the illness. It is about being aware of people like Jodi. To love these beautiful individuals, we must let them know that we care about their affliction. As society learns what they can accomplish despite the unwelcome battles they face daily, we will not only accommodate them, but we will cheer them on and be inspired ourselves. So to Jodi, and to everyone that is suffering today and afraid of the pain and fatigue tomorrow, your bravery matters. Every time you offer a word of encouragement, it has more power than it would in the absence of Lupus. Your unique struggles are the framework for the one you are being fashioned into. L.I.F.E. recognizes that you not only deserve to be heard and admired, but that those around you are better off for listening and supporting you. Please keep inspiring us!
Written by Jennifer Billings, Board Member for L.I.F.E.
Here are 3 great ways to show your support:
Share lupus facts on social media
Donate to the cause or sponsor a student with lupus through L.I.F.E.
Write a statement/testimonial on “How you have been touched by lupus!”