Minister of Health Promotion walks in the direction of a cure for lupus



    TORONTO, May 8 /CNW/ - On May 9th 2009, the Honourable Margarett Best,
Minister of Health Promotion - Ontario, will have her walking shoes and lupus
laces on. She will be joined by 500 enthusiastic participants at Queen's Park
for Walk a Block for Lupus. Many of the people walking with Minister Best live
with lupus and are lucky to be alive.
    "I commend Lupus Ontario for its dedication to improving the lives of
people living with lupus through advocacy, education, public awareness,
support and research. Walk a Block for Lupus is an excellent example of one
way in which a grass roots movement can raise awareness in an effort to find a
cure," said Minister Best.
    Lupus is an autoimmune disease that does kill. It attacks body tissues
causing extreme fatigue, severe muscle and joint pain, anaemia and can result
in the destruction of vital organs. Lupus can affect the brain, the skin,
joints, the heart, lungs, kidneys, blood, the nervous system and other organs.
90% of its victims are women.
    "Chances are, with so many Ontarians afflicted with this disease and so
many more diagnosed each year, everyone knows someone living with lupus," says
Marni Schecter, Executive Director of Lupus Ontario. "On the outside, people
living with lupus show no apparent signs of illness. Inside though, their
bodies are being ravaged and slowly, major organs are failing."
    Lupus Ontario has 22 support centres across the province, raises funds to
support groundbreaking research at five major hospitals in Ontario and
provides support, education and raises public awareness about the disease.
Lupus Ontario funds two Fellowships in Lupus, one at the Hospital for Sick
Kids and the Geoff Carr Fellowship.
    Lupus is a costly disease to manage and without a cure, the social and
health costs to all are enormous.

    Come walk with us! Walk a Block for Lupus takes place Saturday, May 9th
from 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on the north side of Queen's Park in downtown
Toronto. The CNE mascot will be onsite handing out passes, there will be live
music by Headbone, refreshments, tshirts, prizes, draws and a chance to become
a Lupus Ontario member. Media welcome.




For further information:

For further information: Marni Schecter, Executive Director, Lupus
Ontario, Phone: (905) 415-1099, Cell: (416) 986-8814, marnis@lupusontario.org,
www.lupusontario.org

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LUPUS ONTARIO

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