May is Lupus Awareness Month, and the Lupus Foundation of America is working to help the disease become more understood by the American public.
The organization is calling for citizens across the United States to raise awareness of the autoimmune disease that impacts millions of families.
According to the foundation, research has shown that nearly two-thirds of the country knows next-to-nothing about the disease other than its name. Diagnosis can be difficult because the disease can impact the full spectrum of organ systems and often mimics other diseases. People who suffer from lupus may be fatigued, have various skin rashes, cardiovascular disease or hair loss, according to a news release.
With increased public awareness and a better understanding of the disease, the foundation hopes to further research efforts to find a cure.
“We’re asking all Americans to take part in the fight against lupus this month by Pumping Up the Purple,” Sandra C. Raymond, president and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America, said in a statement released by the organization. “We will be dedicating all funds from our 24 hour fundraiser, ‘Put on Purple Day’ on May 19, toward building the next generation of lupus researchers through the Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program.”