Dec. 15, 2017

Michigan Nurse Sees the Devastating Effects of Lupus First-Hand

Iris Zink, RN is a rheumatology nurse and past president of the Rheumatology Nurses Society (RNS).

She works with lupus patients every day, "some are newly diagnosed, others are mothers living for years with the condition. I even treat children, and must watch as they bravely endure chemotherapy treatments." 

She knows first-hand that people living with lupus have to endure so much:

“There is fatigue, isolation, constant pain, and the often horrible side effects of the treatments that are meant to help them. They suffer tremendously. Through all of these difficulties, they nonetheless inspire me with their strength and perseverance.”

One of Iris’ longtime patients once shared that she evaluates the impact of lupus on her quality of life by counting the number of  ‘PJ days’ per week: days she’s too exhausted to leave the couch. Iris adopted the number of PJs days per week as a method to understand how her patients are feeling.

Iris has since turned this idea into an awareness campaign and fundraiser called #LupusPJDay

Lupus PJ Day started with a fundraiser at Iris’ clinic where all staff donated $20 in order to wear their PJs to work. When other members at the RNS Society heard about what her clinic was doing they wanted to join in and create a friendly competition between clinics with all funds going toward lupus research.

PJ Day for Lupus Foundation of America has since become a nationwide campaign thanks to the efforts of RNS and Iris Zink. In 2018, we are committed to getting a PJ day going in every community we can. May 2, 2018 will be the second annual #LupusPJDay.

We invite nurses, teachers, patients, friends, and family members to put on their PJs, raise money for lupus research, increase awareness of lupus, and rally public support for those who suffer from its brutal impact.

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