Want to Become a Lupus Advocate? Here’s How.
With the increase of lupus cases in the United States, there has been a wave of awareness regarding the disease. It's no surprise that many people consider advocating for the 1.5 million who are struggling with lupus. But, where should advocates start?
A lupus advocate is a person who engages in educating federal, state, and local authorities on the fatal consequences and struggles of those who are suffering from lupus. An advocate can achieve this in several ways, including email, face-to-face meetings, phone calls, or even through letters directed towards elected officials. In this sense, these lupus advocates are the spokesperson of the 1.5 million individuals that are suffering from the mysterious disease. And the best part is that anyone can be an advocate! There are no requirements to engage in this cause.
In this article, we aim to explain the many ways anyone can support the cause and become a lupus advocate.
Working Alongside the Government
Ever since the late 20th century, the Lupus Foundation of America has worked alongside the U.S. Government in order to drive millions of dollars towards lupus research and education programs, while also ensuring that lupus patients have access to all the resources, including care and services that they require. Working with government agencies is a good way to represent the plight of lupus patients, and to act as intermediaries so that their voices can be heard in the places where it matters. This is especially important since the U.S. Government is one of the largest funders of lupus research in the world.
When working with the government, the advocate will be able to drive fundraising campaigns that have helped to collect over $100 million for the cause, which was directed towards different lupus research and treatment programs. Some of these programs include the National Lupus Registry Program ($56.3 million), the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program ($31.7 million), the first-ever Ad Council Public Awareness Campaign on lupus ($2.2 million), and a health provider training and clinical trial education program ($12.6 million).
Other ways that a lupus advocate can help with their involvement in government agencies is by spreading awareness of the disease through their lupus awareness and support programs. Some of their efforts in this category include the Lupus Federal Working Group, the first-ever Congressional Lupus Caucus, the first-ever National Lupus Public Health Agenda, and the Lupus Initiative.