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A Toast to Lupus Awareness

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Jane Ferris, the chief executive officer for the Indiana Chapter with Christoper Nunn, Southern Wine and Spirits of Indiana's Merchandising Consultant. - DAVID GURECKI
  • David Gurecki
  • Jane Ferris, the chief executive officer for the Indiana Chapter with Christoper Nunn, Southern Wine and Spirits of Indiana's Merchandising Consultant.
About 36,000 Hoosiers are living with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that escapes a simple definition. It involves the body attacking its own tissues, which produces a variety of symptoms and is often hard to diagnose.

"It is an incredibly nasty disease that is so unfair people that get it," said Jan Ferris, the chief executive officer for The Lupus Foundation of America's Indiana Chapter. "It is a lifelong disease, its incurable, and the treatment is mostly steroid treatment."

She explained that it usually takes three to five years to reach a Lupus diagnosis because it mimics so many other diseases. The foundation organized a food and wine- tasting fundraiser, A Tasteful Affair, on June 27 to support local outreach efforts, including patient support groups and advocacy.

Restaurants like Bonefish Grill, The Melting Pot, and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar donated all the food and drinks.

"If you can do a local chapter and get the grass roots and affect those closest to home it can really have a nice impact-let them know we're here in the community and we care," Trad Ireland of Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar said.

Trad Ireland of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. - DAVID GURECKI
  • David Gurecki
  • Trad Ireland of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.
"I'm looking around and there's a lot of people, there's a lot of support, which means a lot of people have been affected directly or indirectly. Which means that people are aware, and they're here to support and bring awareness."

The event he added, enable local business "to reach outside your four walls and go out in the community and really touch people." By engaging the community, the foundation hopes to enable better outcomes for local Lupus patients.

"Getting people to understand Lupus and how it works and patients to take better take care of themselves and manage the disease, they have a better outcome, they live longer, have better life quality- it's a long road," Ferris said.

Tina, a local woman with Lupus who attended the event, offered her perspective on living with the disease.

"It's either you allow it to take you or you take over it yourself," she said.

The second annual golf outing will be held Tues. Sept.10th at the Country Club of Indianapolis and their next walk will be Sat. Oct. 12 at Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park.

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