JointHealth™ express   May 6, 2008

May 10th has been proclaimed World Lupus Day.

Officials and politicians around the world are calling for increased private and public research funding to find a cure for lupus and save lives.

Communities worldwide are calling for targeted education programs for health professionals, patients and the public to recognize lupus as a significant public health issue.

Lupus is an under-recognized chronic autoimmune disease in which the body's own immune system attacks healthy tissue and organs such as the lungs, heart, kidneys, blood vessels and brain. This can lead to organ failure and sometimes death. There is no cure for this disease and the current treatments can cause serious side-effects.

Difficulty in diagnosing lupus presents a major challenge! The "ACE Survey on Arthritis Treatment and Care" found two-thirds of Canadian lupus respondents needed to see AT LEAST three health care professionals to obtain a correct diagnosis, and fully one-quarter of these required SIX professionals.

Accountant Susan Milliken knows the downfall of waiting to be diagnosed. She saw 20 doctors over 10 years before treatment was started and during this time she suffered irreversible organ damage. She has become a director of the BC Lupus Society because in her words "I am volunteering to help promote earlier diagnosis, better treatment and support to people affected by lupus so others don't go through what I have had to endure".

On World Lupus Day, there are 8 events happening in communities around the province of BC. There is a "World Lupus Day Run" at Burnaby's Central Park, and "Walk a Block for Lupus" fundraisers happening in New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, Prince George, Kelowna, Parksville, Sechelt, Trail, and Grandforks.

For more information, please contact Susan Milliken, BC Lupus Society Director at (604) 808-4070 or Gayle Traquair, BC Lupus Office Manager at (604) 714-5564. Visit to download the World Lupus Day proclamation and to find details about location and times for World Lupus Day events.