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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Last Day of Autism Awarness Month

Today is the final day of Autism Awareness Month. As promised, 10% of my profits from the month will be donated to the Autism Society. I hope I can add to my final amount today.

May 10th is World Lupus Day. On this day I will be donating 100% of my profits to the Lupus Foundation. I will start promoting  this tomorrow and I will be coming to you, my readers, for help in spreading awareness of Lupus, specifically, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, (SLE).

As a physical therapist, every neurological condition is close to my heart. Especially the ones that affect children, because I work with children. However, there are two diseases that have affected my family and changed our lives: Alzheimer's Disease and Lupus. I am dedicated to spreading awareness of these illnesses and raising money for the prevention and cure of these catastrophic, life changing illnesses.

I am no expert, however, if you are or your family are dealing with either of these illnesses and would like access to my world of empirical knowledge, please leave a comment with contact info.

Understanding Lupus from the Lupus Foundation Website

 

What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.
  • Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better). Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.
  • Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot "catch" lupus from someone or "give" lupus to someone.
  • Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, as described above.
  • Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive.
  • Our research estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus.
  • It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.
  • Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too.
  • Women of color are 2-3 times more likely to develop lupus.
  • People of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus.
  • More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country.
Thank you for reading,
Norah