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Health Check: Lupus

The Lupus Foundation of New England says support is crucial for those diagnosed with this chronic illness. Nine of out 10 of those diagnosed are women. (WJAR){ }

Raising awareness about the ‘Invisible Disease.’

The Lupus Foundation of New England says support is crucial for those diagnosed with this chronic illness. Nine of out 10 of those diagnosed are women.

Twenty-six-year-old Prutha Patel of Providence is one of them.

"I had extreme fatigue," said Patel.

But she didn’t look sick, Nor did singer and actress Selena Gomez.

And that's the problem.

"They go to the doctor: 'I have a fever' then they treat that symptom.” Said Beverly Goodell, executive director of the Lupus Foundation of New England. “They go to the doctor with another symptom, they treat that symptom."

That’s why the Foundation is here. Its mission is clear: To educate and support people with lupus, promote awareness and fund scientific research that will lead to better treatments and ultimately a cure.

For Gomez, her disease affected her kidneys to the point where she needed a transplant. Not everyone is impacted to that extreme

"The most common complaint I would say is fever, fatigue, brain fog. Chronic pain," said Goodell.

"Imagine getting up every day and feeling like you had the flu. Every day."

That's why getting a diagnosis is important, said Goodell. But so is support. Especially considering treatment options are few and far between.

"You have to understand there's no new drugs for lupus,” said Goodell. “There hasn't been in over 50 years. We're using drugs that were anti malarials from 100 years ago."

"The lupus foundation is key to giving support to those who need it."

"We want to inspire people to live well with the disease, given them information that they need and fund research. And we all want a cure for this disease because it is debilitating."

There will be a fundraiser in Rhode Island to help benefit the Lupus Foundation of NE.


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