FROM CHALLENGES TO OPPORTUNITIES: WE LOOK BACK ON 2021 AND AHEAD TO 2022!
Thank you for your generous support of Lupus Canada in 2021. I’m pleased to update you on our progress over the past year.
Your support helped us advocate for improved drug access, and we pushed for more government funding of lupus medication. We worked to help the medical profession across Canada gain awareness of lupus. With your support, all of these initiatives and more will continue.
In 2021, you helped fund a study to examine cognitive dysfunction in people with lupus. Often manifesting as cognitive fatigue or “brain fog”, it can affect up to 75% of people with lupus. The study will continue into 2022 to explore causes and treatments.
As Dr. Barraclough, Research Fellow, points out, “So much remains unknown. Lupus patients face serious impacts on their kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, joints, and skin.”
Dr. Touma, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, adds, “Lupus research is often overlooked. The need to make significant progress in our research is both urgent and essential.”
To help optimize research learning, Lupus Canada supports CaNIOS, a Canadian national research group on systemic lupus. Among other initiatives, CaNIOS is building a database registry of the impacts of COVID-19 on people with lupus, and how they respond to COVID-19 vaccines. The registry is being updated to include vaccination data, and will provide valuable insights into effective treatments.
Please renew your support and help make 2022 another year of progress.
Your support will enable more critical research, as well as programs to help improve the lives of lupus patients, and bring greater awareness to the issues they face.
We’ll continue to offer scholarships to students who battle lupus, like 18-year-old Koraleigh, who was awarded a scholarship last year and is now attending the University of Prince Edward Island.
Students with a chronic rheumatic disease like lupus have been found to underperform in high school due to the challenges presented by their disease, according to a study by Dr. Lily Lim of the University of Manitoba. Scholarships provide supports that offer students with lupus more equitable opportunities to succeed.
As Koraleigh says, “The 2021 Lupus Canada Scholarship has been a blessing and truly changed my life.”
Exciting opportunities lie ahead in 2022.
We have launched our largest ever online initiative to harness the power of social media and give lupus the attention! With its many disguises, lupus can go undiagnosed for up to 7 years, but with your help, we will work to change that.
Education will also empower individuals with lupus and their families to advocate for the care they deserve.
And research will continue to work toward advances in treatment, and hopefully a cure, to help people like Koraleigh benefit from faster diagnosis and more effective treatment options.
Though she is now managing her lupus, Koraleigh recalls: “The fight to find the right combination of treatments has been rough. Each treatment never seemed to work.”
Please give today so that more Canadians with lupus can live healthy, active lives at lupuscanada.org/ra2022
Koraleigh’s positive outcome is thanks to donors like you, as well as her courageous outlook. “Lupus has shown me the strength I possess,” she says. “It shows me I am brave, I am strong and I am not alone on this journey with lupus.”
Thank you very much for supporting Lupus Canada and Canadians impacted by lupus, especially during these turbulent times.
As a small organization with limited resources, Lupus Canada would not be able to achieve progress without you. Please continue to make life better for people with lupus in 2022. Thank you!
Leanne Mielczarek, Executive Director, Lupus Canada