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This fundraiser ended on 03/25/12

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We are raising money to help raise awareness of the affects Lupus has on those who are diagnosed with it.

This site is being developed in an effort to raise awareness of the disease known as Lupus. It is our intention to raise funding for those suffering with Lupus and provide a life changing gift to one individual each year.

Many of those who know us are aware that our mother, Linda Miller was diagnosed with Lupus, and the related disease known as Sjogren's Syndrome, several years back. Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when something goes wrong with the body's immune system, causing it to attack its own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. Under normal circumstances, the antibodies produced by the immune system protect us from viruses, germs and bacteria; but in individuals afflicted with Lupus, the immune system can’t tell the difference between these invaders and the body’s own healthy tissues – so it attacks itself. When a disease is referred to as chronic, it means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. Research estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus, with over 16,000 new cases being diagnosed annually across the country. Some other important facts about Lupus:

• Lupus is 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.
• 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 (see 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.
• It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.
• More than 90% of those with Lupus are women. However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too.
• Relatives of people with lupus have an approximately 5-13 percent chance of developing lupus. However, only about 5 percent of children will develop lupus if their mother has lupus.
• Women of color are 2-3 times more likely to develop lupus.
• People of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus.

The signs and symptoms of lupus that you experience will depend on which body systems are affected by the disease. The most common signs and symptoms include:

• extreme fatigue (tiredness)
• headaches, confusion, memory loss
• painful or swollen joints
• fever
• anemia (low numbers of red blood cells or hemoglobin, or low total blood volume)
• swelling (edema) in feet, legs, hands, and/or around eyes
• pain in chest on deep breathing (pleurisy)
• shortness of breath
• butterfly-shaped rash covering the cheeks and bridge of the nose
• sun- or light-sensitivity (photosensitivity)
• skin lesions that appear or worsen with exposure to sunlight
• hair loss
• dry eyes
• abnormal blood clotting
• fingers turning white and/or blue when cold (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
• mouth or nose ulcers

As of today, there is no cure for Lupus; although the outlook for the majority of those with the disease is positive; 90% of patients diagnosed with lupus will survive at least a decade after diagnosis. Beyond that point, their life expectancy will resemble that of a person of similar age and gender except for a somewhat increased prevalence of cardio and cerebro vascular disease.

It is our intention to donate the funds raised this year to Linda for medical expenses and home repairs to create a better living environment. We will be contributing any additional funds raised to the Lupus Foundation. Each year, we will run a pledge drive to help an individual with the financial strain this disease has caused. We look to you for your support. Together, we can bring awareness of the impact this disease has on millions of lives to the American public.

Thank you.

Resources

Mayo Clinic website: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lupus/DS00115

Lupus Foundation of America: http://www.lupus.org/newsite/index.html

Lupus Clinical Overview, Belmont HM: http://www.cerebel.com/lupus/


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