Ten years ago, no one spoke about lupus. Today, lupus is featured in prime-time television, celebrities are getting behind the cause, there are public service announcements, and more news stories about lupus than ever before. The Lupus Foundation of America is continuing this momentum by aggressively conducting outreach efforts to increase public understanding of lupus through national public awareness campaigns, celebrity engagement, and online and social marketing.
Broader awareness and understanding of lupus will lead to increased resources and investment in lupus research and education programs, resulting in the discovery of new treatments, and ultimately a cure for lupus.
Continued support of The Advertising Council's multimedia lupus awareness campaign, which generated nearly $10 million in donated media during 2011, and a total of $70 million since the launch of the campaign in 2009. The LFA is the Founding Partner on the campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health (OWH).
Reached more than 71 million people through the media, which showcased personal stories and demonstrated the urgent need for a full arsenal of new, safe, effective, and more tolerable treatments for lupus. Launched Lupus Voices Across America, a new Web site to provide a community for people with lupus and supporters to tell their stories and give a voice to their experience. More than 1,200 people added their voice, and their stories were shared with more than 32,000 individuals through the Web site.
Generated record-breaking visibility for the disease globally during Lupus Awareness Month by creating online tools and employing social networking strategies to bring lupus information to an entirely new audience. In addition, more than 100 events were conducted in 22 states during May to raise awareness and funds for lupus research.
Expanded celebrity support for lupus awareness from individuals such as Whoopi Goldberg, NBA player Chris Wilcox, and Grammy-nominated singer Oleta Adams. In addition, celebrities including Eduardo Xol, Julian Lennon, Kalenna Harper, and Busy Philipps were recruited to introduce a new "Lupus Fact of the Day" at the beginning of each week during May.
Experienced tremendous growth through our Web site and social media, generating nearly 4 million visits to our Web site. The LFA Web site is ranked number one compared to other Web sites for people looking for information about lupus. Twitter followers increased 270 percent and the number of Facebook fans increased by 175 percent, and continues to grow.