Take a step to conquer lupus ... one block at a time

MARKHAM, ON, May 5 /CNW/ - In the month of May residents in communities across Ontario will participate in Lupus Ontario's most important public awareness and fundraising event, Walk a Block for Lupus. Lupus Ontario is holding their 9th Annual Walk a Block for Lupus event in conjunction with World Lupus Day to help increase awareness and raise funds for lupus. May 10th, 2010 is the 7th Annual World Lupus Day and events will be held worldwide in an effort to bring more awareness to this under-funded and under-recognized disease.

In Ontario, our largest walks will be taking place at the Thornhill Community Centre in Thornhill on May 16th and in downtown Toronto at Queens Park on May 15th.

Lupus affects tens of thousands of Canadian men, women and children, yet many people are still unaware of the disease. It can attack any tissue or organ in the body. Lupus patients often suffer from the disease in very different ways, hence the moniker "The Disease with 1000 Faces". Common symptoms of lupus include joint pain, skin rashes, sun sensitivity, extreme fatigue, fever, chest pain and seizures. Lupus can strike any tissue or organ in the body, including skin, muscles, joints, blood and blood vessels, lungs, heart, kidneys and the brain. Lupus symptoms vary drastically from person to person and can mimic other illnesses, making it difficult to diagnose. Increased awareness and early diagnosis is vital to improving the overall quality of life of the thousands of Canadians living with lupus.

Fortunately, new research continues to bring new findings. Thanks to our funders who support research and supportive programming, the progress made in the treatment and the diagnosis during the last decade has been greater than ever before. With continued support, we can help maintain control of this sometimes fatal disease that tomorrow may be curable.

Lupus Ontario has 22 support centres across the province. We fund critical research at 5 major hospitals in Ontario and we provide education and public awareness. Lupus Ontario funds two Fellowships in Lupus, one at the Hospital for SickKids and the Geoff Carr Fellowship. We are also committed to significantly increasing public awareness, and providing education and much needed programming.

Take a step to conquer lupus... JOIN a walk, START a walk or DONATE to a walk to support research and help us ensure people living with lupus are living well with lupus!

For more information about Walk a Block for Lupus please visit www.walkablock.ca or call 1-877-240-1099


For further information: For further information: Nicole Wright, Provincial Walk a Block Coordinator, Lupus Ontario, Tel: (905) 415-1099, Fax: (905) 415-9874, Email: nwright@lupusontario.org

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