In the United States alone, it is estimated that up to 1.5 million people have lupus, an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks its own tissues and cells. In order to draw attention to this condition, the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) observes Lupus Awareness Month during May of each year. Throughout this month, the LFA works to raise awareness of Lupus through support group meetings, teleconferences with experts and walks in major cities.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that these efforts are yielding results. During May of 2013, the LFA reported that their educational content had reached over two million people. In addition, over one million people viewed an LFA Facebook infographic, which highlighted the many symptoms of Lupus.
Lupus Awareness Month 2013 also saw efforts to lobby the United States Congress on behalf of Lupus patients. Specifically, a petition requesting increased federal funding for Lupus research gathered more than 30,000 signatures. In addition, several notable landmarks and buildings adorned the color purple in support of Lupus Awareness Month, including Los Angeles International Airport and the Seattle Great Wheel.
Fighting Back Against Lupus
Lupus can trigger numerous symptoms throughout the body, ranging from joint pain to skin rashes to headaches. Making matters worse is that this disease can cause significant fatigue, to the point that daily life becomes an endurance test. Though lupus can exact a heavy toll on the body’s health, being diagnosed with this condition doesn’t mean you’ll have to spend the rest of you life anchored to a couch. By working closely with medical professionals, lupus patients can still lead physically active lifestyles.
A good example of persevering through the effects of lupus comes from Kristin Alden, the wife of “Ask More, Get More” author Michael Alden. After becoming pregnant with her daughter, Kristin’s health unexpectedly began to falter. In addition to gaining weight, the mother-to-be also struggled with fatigue, depression and joint pain. Kristin eventually learned that the cause of her mysterious health problems was lupus.
Dealing with lupus’ onslaught must have been frustrating for Kristin, who worked as a yoga instructor and had always enjoyed excellent health. Rather than throw in the towel, however, Kristin decided to confront this challenge head-on. After giving birth, the 41-year old new mother decided to enter physical fitness competitions. Though much hard work and willpower, Kristin was able to train her body for the rigors of these events. In fact, she has actually won several such contests, and has inspired other new mothers to start exercising regularly. You can find similarly insightful and uplifting stories in the book, “Ask More, Get More“.
Lupus is a very intimidating foe for those who develop it. Despite this, a lupus diagnosis hardly means that the patient’s life is effectively over. Thanks largely to Lupus Awareness Month and people like Kristin Alden, many people with lupus are becoming more informed and optimistic about their health.