Dear Friends of the LFA:
It is an exciting day! Today I represented the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) in Washington, DC to help the Advertising Council and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office on Women’s Health launch a new national lupus public awareness campaign.
The LFA is Founding Partner on this campaign, which is directed toward individuals most at risk for developing the disease: young minority women of childbearing age. I hope you will take a few minutes to check it out.
I am honored to be a part of this effort to help raise awareness of a disease that has long been overshadowed and overlooked. This morning, I participated in media interviews through a satellite hookup with radio and television stations throughout the United States. LFA President and CEO Sandra Raymond and I then spoke at HHS headquarters about the urgent need to increase public awareness of lupus symptoms to improve early diagnosis and treatment of lupus.
The objectives of this new campaign are to help the public understand lupus and its health effects, and to help people at risk for lupus identify early warning signs of the disease so they can ask their doctor for a medical evaluation. The campaign includes radio and television public service announcements in both English and Spanish. Multi-language print, outdoor, transit and Internet advertisements are also included. The campaign’s website, http://couldihavelupus.gov/, features information about lupus symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, links to resources, and stories from women who are living with lupus.
The LFA and its nationwide network of nearly 300 chapters, affiliates and support groups will promote the campaign through outreach efforts to local media outlets. The LFA has expanded its online resources to include an interactive tool and symptom checklist, launched a new education series of booklets and fact sheets, and enhanced its network of health educators to meet an expected increase in the number of people seeking information and services in response to the campaign.
Through this campaign, we hope lupus will get the attention that you and I both know it needs and deserves.
National Lupus Awareness Campaign Material
LFA Campaign Resources:
About Mercedes Yvette
In 2004, as a contestant and runner-up on America’s Next Top Model, Mercedes revealed to a nationwide television audience that she has lupus. Since assuming her spokesperson role with the LFA, Mercedes has participated in national television appearances to promote awareness of lupus, and joined other lupus advocates on Capitol Hill to seek increased federal funding for research on lupus.