Belize Lupus Association plan Awareness Month activities

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. Lupus may strike without warning, and its symptoms are often distinct from person to person. Though doctors have not certified what causes lupus, most believe that lupus results from genetic or environmental stimuli. And while lupus can be disabling and potentially fatal, in many cases the most serious health effects can be managed through aggressive medical treatment and lifestyle changes. Worldwide, the month of May is designated as Lupus Awareness Month, and in Belize, one organization has taken charge in spreading understanding of the disease. This year, the Belize Lupus Association, in its awareness campaign, is targeting high school students throughout the country. Eroyln Middleton-Frazer, the founder of BLA, further explained this project.

Erolyn Frazer – Founder, Belize Lupus Association:
vlcsnap-2013-04-29-20h18m12s246This month we’re going into High Schools. We have Belmopan Baptist, day and night school, who have already jumped on board.  Letters have been sent out to the other High Schools, and we’re waiting for responses from all of them.  We have students at Baptist High and students at Belmopan Comprehensive who have Lupus.  One of the things that we found out also is that the parents and the children are ashamed of having Lupus.  So we’re trying to let everyone know that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  It’s nothing that you asked for or looked for.  You contracted from someone else.  Lupus is said to be hereditary, but research continues.

According to Frazer, the number of persons in Belize living with lupus is on the increase and so dialogue is critical at this time. Here are other initiatives taking place next month in conjunction with this effort.

Erolyn Frazer – Founder, Belize Lupus Association:
We have our Lupus Walk, which will be held on the 18th at 5:30 pm here in Belmopan.  That’s the main event for Lupus Awareness Month.  We have “Put On Purple.”  We have three days of “Put On Purple.”  Purple is the colour for Lupus Awareness  We have the 10th, which is the actual Lupus Awareness Day, and the 17th which is actually “Put On Purple Day.” So we’re asking everyone across the country to put on Purple on that day, and tell people why you put on purple, and spread the awareness of Lupus. The last day will be the 31st of May.  That will be to close off the month of activities.

The march begins at the Mae Gordon Park and will go around the Ring Road. Belize Lupus Association offices open on May 1st at #1 Nargusta Street in Belmopan, but until then, you can contact them at 669-5944. Lupus month is being recognized in Belize under the theme “Tell your story. Save lives.”

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