This past Sunday the Lupus Society of Illinois hosted the Chicago Lupus Walk 2017 at Lincoln Park, Grove 2. President and CEO of LSI, Charles Brummell along with his board members, and dedicated volunteers worked together to set up the event at roughly five in the morning.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation that attacks in three primary ways: skin, joints, and major organs. The effects of this disease vary so much that most patients are often misdiagnosed for years before their primary physician realize they have Lupus. The disease also fluctuates on its severity from person to person. Brummell mentioned a friend of his who suffers from Lupus dresses covered in head to toe, including a “big, floppy hat” to shield herself from the sun.
The sun is a trigger for her, and like many others with Lupus to cause skin inflammation and breakouts. The disease mostly affects women of color. About ninety percent of individual with Lupus are in fact women between the ages of 15 to 45, the childbearing range. Lupus being so destructive in so many parts of a person’s body requires regular scheduled check ins with multiple doctors.
Brummell spoke from his experiences with his beloved wife who suffers from Lupus. She constantly has her blood drawn because blood work are early markers that best indicate when something in an individual’s body isn’t functioning up to par. He also stressed how maintaining a healthy diet and a balanced sleep schedule is imperative to those suffering from any autoimmune disease.
Recently Brummell had to take his wife to the hospital because Lupus had attacked her kidneys. He recognized that something was apparently wrong with her and immediately medics measured her blood pressure to be 240/120. He described the attack to be instant. It is not a matter of weeks or days, but seconds. Lupus can be extremely unpredictable. His wife was then able to be treated accordingly. There is no prevention, treatment, nor cure to Lupus. Brummell described it as no one dies from Lupus, but for what has been damaged as a result of Lupus.
For example if Lupus triggers a heart attack, that individual’s cause of death will be declared as a death by heart attack, not by Lupus. Treatment follows that pattern especially because every case is so different from one another. Lupus is underfunded and under researched. There aren’t any Lupus research studies that extend more than one year.
The LSI founded in 1973, recognizes it has long ways and many years to go before major breakthroughs to be made. LSI functions to raise awareness and funds to the overlooked cause by hosting educational events, financial assistance in the form of grants, support groups, and more. LSI’s largest sponsor is the Lakeshore Recycling Systems. The company has been working alongside LSI for the last two years by providing regular funding as well as encouraging its over 700 employees to become actively involved aiding the cause. The company is also raising funds by running a raffle that is currently open and can be accessed on their website.
The raffle closes on October 13th, 2017 (possibility of deadline extension exist) and prizes include attractive electronics such as a brand new Samsung TV. The company’s director of marketing, Meaghan Johnson promotes Lupus awareness throughout LRS’s social media and by periodically sending informative newsletters to their loyal customers. The company began working with LSI when Lakeshore Recycling System’s CEO Alan Handley faced Lupus firsthand when his daughter, Maddie was diagnosed. This year she was announced the ambassador of LSI who courageously provided real life pictures of her experience with Lupus and openly discussed the changes she had to make to her lifestyle as result of Lupus.
More information about Maddie Handley and Lupus as a whole can be found at www.lupus.org