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Jamaican Lupus Warriors Celebrities, Government, Doctors and Media join up to Make Lupus Visible on World Lupus Day

Kingston, Jamaica, May 13, 2022:  On May 10, 2022, Lupus Foundation of Jamaica joined in with Lupus advocacy groups around the world in the nineteenth annual observance of World Lupus Day, in an effort to call attention to and increase support for persons with Lupus in Jamaica.

The Jamaica campaign, dubbed LUPUS LEVEL UP: Make Lupus Visible, leading up to the day consisted of a Social Media campaign, television and radio interviews featuring medical experts and Lupus survivors (termed “Lupus Warriors”), displays at clinics, schools and business places, as well as distribution of purple ribbons and merchandise, with the public being encouraged to wear purple on May 10 in solidarity with those affected.  In addition, members of the Foundation organised walks (dubbed Make Strides for Lupus) and other activities in various locations across the island with images and recordings uploaded to Social Media pages.

The key event was a free mini- Health Fair held at Emancipation Park on May 10, where State Minister in Ministry of Health & Wellness, Juliette Cuthbert Flynn, and reigning Miss Jamaica World Khalia Hall participated in the Opening Ceremony hosted by radio personality Mr Shannon-Dale Reid.  Other participants included President Elect of Medical Association of Jamaica Dr Leslie Meade and Board Members of Lupus Foundation of Jamaica.  Loiette Donegan and Audrey Malcolm, members of the Foundation living with Lupus, respectively said a prayer and shared a poem “My Lupus Strides” prepared for the occasion.  Both participated with the Minister and the Beauty Queen in a symbolic release of purple balloons.

President Dr Desiree Tulloch-Reid expressed gratitude to all those who took time to support the event and other activities. “It is heart-warming to see the outpouring of support being shown by the Government, personalities like Miss Jamaica World, the Medical Community, lupus warriors, volunteers, media and supporters by their presence with us today…It is our hope that greater understanding and continued support promoted by occasions like these will indeed save lives and improve outcomes.”

State Minister Flynn, in officially opening the event, commended the Foundation for it’s efforts. “The work of advocacy plays a vital role in ensuring that systems are in place to give support – connecting those affected with information and care to better their outcomes. I wish to commend the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica for its on-the-ground work in building a community of care for those affected by Lupus.”

Miss Jamaica World Khalia Hall spent quite some time interacting with Lupus Warriors, volunteers and Medical Professionals at the Event where she was seen graciously accommodating photo opportunities and conversations.  She commented, “I have a close family friend with an autoimmune disease and though it is not lupus, I've seen how severely it can impact someone's health and personal life. There definitely isn't enough public awareness around lupus and so I feel grateful to be able to use my platform as Miss Jamaica World to help the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica to raise awareness around this debilitating disease.” 

Attendees received free health checks including blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol checks, courtesy of National Health Fund with support of staff of Diabetes Association. Other Organisations participating in the Health Fair included Medical Professional associations like Jamaica Physiotherapy Association, Dermatology Association of Jamaica and Jamaica Kidney Kids who made presentations to attendees.  Mandeville Regional Pathology unit were strongly represented including their head Dr Racquel Lowe-Jones, a board member and one of the Organisers of the event.  She was accompanied by Dr Vitilius Holder of the Southern Regional Health Authority who treated attendees to an interactive Hula Hoop session that ended the day on a positive note.

For those unable to be present, a Live Broadcast by Riddim FM, hosted by Vernon Derby on his new show Spot On, kept listeners fully involved with interviews and conversations with health professionals, Lupus Warriors and volunteers. Sponsors of the event included Seaboard Jamaica, Guardian Group Foundation and National Health Fund.

END

About the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica (LFJ)

Lupus Foundation of Jamaica is a member-based, volunteer-run charitable Organisation in operation since 1984 that seeks to improve the lives and outcomes of persons affected by lupus through information, support, advocacy and research.  The Foundation is seeking support through donations and volunteers to maintain an increasing demand for support services by persons impacted by lupus.  For assistance or to learn more about what the Foundation is doing, visit www.lupusfoundationjamaica.org


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  • 13 Oct 2022 6:51 PM | Anonymous

    KIM Mair, chair of the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) — the coordinating body for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) serving in Jamaica — said that technology and data should be used to develop interventions to aid vulnerable groups, including those affected by lupus. Click the link below to read the article.

    https://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/cvss-advocates-for-proper-data-on-lupus

  • 13 Oct 2022 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    A call is being made for technology and data to be used to develop interventions to aid vulnerable groups across Jamaica, including those affected by lupus. 

    Click the link below to read the article. 

    https://our.today/cvss-urges-use-of-technology-data-in-developing-interventions-for-persons-with-lupus/

  • 13 Oct 2022 6:43 PM | Anonymous

    CVSS lobbies for use of data, and technology to develop lupus intervention. Click the link below to read the article. 

    https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20221012/cvss-lobbies-use-data-technology-develop-lupus-intervention

  • 13 Oct 2022 6:40 PM | Anonymous

    Check out this article by the Jamaica Gleaner highlighting why you need to know more about Lupus.

    https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/health/20221012/heres-why-you-should-know-more-about-lupus


  • 7 Oct 2022 8:42 AM | Anonymous

    Help us "Fun"-Raise! Lupus Awareness Month continues with our annual family friendly fundraising lapathon LAPS FOR LUPUS AWARENESS next Sunday October 16, 2022, 5 - 8 pm at Emancipation Park. Let's show up in our numbers to to show our support and enjoy free workouts, music, health demonstrations, games, sponsored prizes and entertainment, all for a great cause.

    Proceeds towards our warrior welfare fund. REGISTER OR DONATE online with this link: https://lupusfoundationofjamaica.wildapricot.org/event-4979206

    Then SHARE THIS LINK or Pick up your own LAPATHON SHEET to sign up family, friends and co-workers. Let's support our warriors!


  • 28 Sep 2022 4:18 PM | Anonymous


    Hi, I am Dr Susan Manzi, I am a Lupus doctor and Medical Director of Lupus Foundation of America.

    Do you have questions about lupus?

    I will be joining Lupus Foundation of Jamaica for a special edition of Ask the Expert Live. No question is off limits.

    Send us all your questions and join me live on Wednesday October 5 at 6 pm Jamaica time to hear your questions answered.

    Send your questions:

  • 27 Jun 2022 2:11 PM | Anonymous

    BENEFIT PERFORMANCE FOR LUPUS FOUNDATION OF JAMAICA Sunday July 31, 2021

    Photo Mikael Reckford, Jamaica Gleaner

    Finally, theatres are open again!  Relax with family and help raise funds to support LFJ Programmes and Services – at the same time!  

    GET YOUR TICKETS early for a Benefit Performance of Basil Dawkins' highly acclaimed comedy "Hide Your Husband" on Sunday July 31, 2022 at 5pm at the Little Theatre, Kingston.

    Tickets are being sold for $2000 each and are available at 7 Barbados Avenue or from our Board members (Payment on delivery required!)

    As the health and safety of our patrons is a priority for us, we note that the venue is accessible, seating will be socially distanced at 70% capacity and masks will be required.

    For more information, contact 8767548458, 8767783892 (WhatsApp) or info@lupusfoundationjamaica.org. 

    Read more about the popular play in this Gleaner Review: https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/entertainment/20220516/hide-your-husband-amusing-escapist-comedy

    Thank you for your support!


  • 27 Jun 2022 2:06 PM | Anonymous


    On Thursday June 16, LFJ members and friends gathered online for their monthly Support Group Meeting, organised and facilitated by members of the LFJ Services Committee including Board Members Joel Holding (Director of Services) Joel Holding and Sybil McLean.  A strong showing joined in via Zoom and welcomed guest presenter Mr Samuel McDermott, Counselling Psychologist covering the topic “Managing Stress”, selected by popular demand.  Mr McDermott shared insights on good stress and bad stress as well as different phases of stress 1. Acute phase 2. Reaction phase 3. Repair phase 4. Reorientation phase, as well as various responses to stress model and tips on how to cope with stress. He gave examples of how to develop resilience, such as:


    Mr Samuel McDermott, Counselling Psychologist

    1. Make connections (good relationships)

    2. Be active in social and civic groups (assisting others)

    3. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems

    4. Accept that change is a part of living

    5. Move towards your goals

    6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery (stress helps you to discover the inner you)

    7. Nurture a positive view of yourself

    8. Keep things in perspective

    9. Maintain a healthy outlook

    10. Take care of yourself.


    In addition to questions and answers and sharing, attendees interacted with new and regular attendees and had opportunities to hear updates on membership benefits and upcoming events, make suggestions, sign up for membership and volunteer. 

    The Lupus Foundation holds its general support group meeting on the third Thursday of every other month commencing at 6:30 p.m, while the Lupus Support Group Western JA meets on the last Wednesday of every other month at 6:00 pm.  Since restrictions of Covid-19, the groups have been meeting online via Zoom link, with limited accommodation for in-person attendance on special request.

    Specialists are invited to explain various aspects of the disease as well as coping strategies living with a chronic illness at these monthly meetings. 


  • 27 Jun 2022 1:39 PM | Anonymous

    YOUNG LUPUS WARRIORS AND BUSINESS OWNERS FUNDRAISE FOR LFJ

    The Month of May saw an inspiring trend of young persons and business owners using their skills and resources to support the work of Lupus Foundation of Jamaica.

    Georgia Johnson a lupus warrior, LFJ volunteer and part of the team planning for World Lupus Day 2022, is a Baker by profession, and decided to make her added contribution by baking specially designed ribbon-shaped sugar cookies to raise awareness and funds in support of the Effort. 

    Danyelle Pike, aesthetician and owner of Lev’s Beauty Bar, who is also a Lupus Warrior, invited other business owners to support LFJ with a portion of their earnings during the Month of May through her Paint May Purple Initiative. 

    Miss Pike accompanied Colleagues Timothy South, Shaquille Blake and Jason McDowell, executive directors of OSA Saturday’s on a visit to LFJ Help Centre on June 7 to hand over the donation of $67,000 JMD.  Timothy South had this to say on behalf of the Team: “We decided to make a donation towards the Paint May Purple Initiative to empower other lupus warriors and to just add some value to the lupus community with this donation.  For us it was a no-brainer because we’ve all had lives that were affected by lupus.”

    Danyelle Pike (centre) of Lev's Beauty Bar is flanked by (from L) Shaquille Blake, Jason McDowell and Timothy South of OSA Saturdays as they get ready to present their donation to Board members of the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica Dr Desiree Tulloch-Reid and Mr Joel Holding (R).

    Kristopher Thompson of 658 Series was soon to follow with their own donation of $100,000 on June 13.  “Miss Danyelle Pike had reached out to us from the 658 Series Team last month and had asked if we would be interested in supporting the Lupus Foundation.   We decided that we would make a $100,000 donation towards the Foundation.

    “We know medication and treatment is quite expensive and in Jamaica we have one of the highest rates of persons affected by Lupus. It is our intent and hope that this donation will help ease the pain/burden for at least one individual fighting through the challenges that may come with this illness.”

    Pike explained that this is her second staging of the Paint May Purple fundraising initiative.  “I just wanted to bring on some younger business owners, to get them involved as well, in not only the Foundation but the movement itself – to get persons talking about it and raising as much awareness as I can;  so any way I can help I am happy to do so. "


    Miss Pike gave her own commendation of the work of the Foundation:  “Thank you all for all that you do because it’s a lot -  Just in terms of medication, finding doctors, dealing with the symptoms and all of those things - It’s not easy so you guys are doing a lot and I’m grateful for that. 

    “I like helping people and know how hard it is living with lupus – and if people are trying to help the community then I am more than happy to help in any way I can.”


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