Monday, May 9, 2011
WORLD LUPUS DAY
Tomorrow 10th May is WORLD LUPUS DAY.
The following is a phrase taken from the World Lupus internet site and explains a little bit about this rare disease called Lupus or SLE.
"Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body. Every day, more than 5 million people worldwide struggle with the often debilitating health consequences of lupus, a potentially fatal autoimmune disease capable of damaging virtually any part of the body, including the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain."
Lupus is still classified as a rare disease even though it is becoming one of the most commom rare diseases to be diagnosed. Remember that 90% of the people suffering from Lupus are female and that it can also develop in males and small children. A few years ago nobody had even heard of the disease, now I hear people saying "Oh yes, I've heard of that", or maybe, "A friend of mine knew someone with that, but shes ok now". I'm sure that she is not "ok" as Lupus is a thing you have everyday for the rest of your life...Please take a look at one of the sites using the links below, and spend a few minutes thinking about this disease. It is important that we begin to understand more about Lupus, the fact that a disease is "rare" can often mean it gets overlooked in research programmes. There are also ways you can give concrete help by fund raising or supporting local Lupus groups.
The symbol of a butterfly is often chosen to represent the disease in the form of a logo. This is because a number of patients have the malar rash across the cheeks and on the bridge of the nose and this is said to resemble the shape of a butterfly. I have been designing some butterflies for a Spoonflower project I am working on, so I have decided to post one of them to celebrate World Lupus Day.