LFA and Congressional Lupus Caucus On Capitol Hill
- Published on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 16:14
WASHINGTON, D.C.--Congressional leaders gathered today to hear about the latest in lupus research from the Lupus Foundation of America, the leading voluntary health organization for people with lupus and the first-ever Congressional Lupus Caucus, founded in February 2012 in hopes of arming all members of Congress with knowledge about the disease and the fight against it.
They were joined by lupus community partners including lupus experts, and individuals with lupus, who could testify to the challenges to advancing lupus research and the obstacles to developing new treatments for the debilitating disease.
Chris Wilcox, of the NBA Boston Celtics, has been personally affected by the disease and sees today's briefing as a step in the right direction. Wilcox has been active in the fight against lupus after seeing first-hand just how devastating the disease can be. Wilcox's sister Tehesia is currently suffering from the disease. Two of his aunts passed away from complications with lupus.
Today's briefing was also the inaugural gathering of the Congressional Lupus Caucus. 43 members of Congress have already joined the Caucus and recruitment efforts are on-going. The Caucus is co-chaired by U.S. House of Representatives members Tom Rooney (R-FL), William Keating (D-MA), Ileana RosLehtinen (R-FL), and Jim Moran (D-VA). It was originally spearheaded by the LFA.
Lupus is a chronic automimmune disease which affects more than five million people around the world. Managing the disease requires aggressive drug treatments that come with adverse side effects including significant biological, psychological and social consequences. In the past 50 years, the Food and Drug Administration has approved one new drug specifically designed to treat lupus.