May. 09, 2011

Julian Lennon Leads World Lupus Day Observance on May 10

May 09, 2011

(Washington, DC) – Musician and philanthropist Julian Lennon, newly appointed Global Ambassador for the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), is encouraging people around the world to join with him to observe World Lupus Day on May 10.

As part of the observance, Mr. Lennon is urging everyone to sign a pledge to increase awareness of lupus, a devastating and life-altering autoimmune disease that affects at least five million individuals worldwide.  Supporters can make their pledge and download resources to help raise understanding of lupus through the World Lupus Day Web site,

Mr. Lennon became involved with the LFA after a childhood friend who developed lupus succumbed to the disease in 2009.  Since that time, he has helped raise funds for research and spoken out to increase awareness of lupus.

“We can all do our part and make people more aware of lupus, which affects a staggering number of people,” said Lennon.  “The fact that lupus impacts so many people in so many ways is devastating.  I urge everyone to learn more about this chronic disease and band together to spread the word to others during World Lupus Day and beyond.”

This is the eighth annual observance of World Lupus Day.  Since 2004, lupus organizations around the globe have conducted activities on May 10 to raise awareness and educate the public about the symptoms and health effects of lupus, which occurs when the immune system is out of balance, causing inflammation and tissue damage to any organ system in the body.  The health effects of lupus include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, miscarriages, and organ failure.

“There is a need for heightened public awareness, improved health care services, and expanded research to improve the lives of all people affected by lupus,” said Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America. “We are proud to partner with Julian Lennon and lupus groups around the world to bring greater attention to this significant international health issue.”

In addition to the LFA, other international lupus organizations observing World Lupus Day on May 10 include: Agrupación Lupus Chile, Arthritis Victoria (Australia), Lupus Association of Argentina, Associação Doentes com Lupus (Portugal), British Columbia Lupus Society (Canada), Belgian CIB-League, Catalan Lupus Foundation (Spain), Care for Lupus-SDF (Indonesia), Federación Española de Lupus (Spain), Inspired Advocacy (LUISA) Project thru Rheumatology Educational Trust Foundation Inc. (Philippines), Lupus Alert (Mauritius), Lupus Association of New South Wales, Inc. (Australia), Lupus Australia Queensland Inc., Lupus Canada, Lupus Denmark, Lupus Europe, Lupus Foundation of Ontario (Canada), Lupus France, Lupus-Italy, Lupus Saskatchewan Society, (Canada), Lupus Trust of New Zealand, Lupus UK (United Kingdom), Magyar Lupus Egyesulet (Hungary), Malaysian SLE Association, Nationale Vereniging LE Patienten (The Netherlands), The Swedish Rheumatism Association, Saint Thomas' Lupus Trust (United Kingdom), and Schweizerische Lupus Erythematodses Vereinigung (Switzerland).

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