Why Lupus Awareness Is Key to a Cure


May 20th is Put on Purple Day in support of lupus awareness. Ten years ago I had no idea this was “a thing.” Purple was just my favorite color. Purple was the color of my alma mater, Northwestern University. Purple was the color of my favorite flower, the lilac, and seeing them always brought back memories of my grandparents garden, my childhood home and spring. My husband planted a lilac bush in our backyard to surprise me since he knew they were my favorite when we bought our house. Purple was just a pretty color, not the symbol of a devastating disease and now a cause that meant life and death.

two women wearing purple shirts

There are many colors to represent many causes. In fact, there are so many causes that now we have to double, triple and quadruple up since there are just so many colors. Some ribbons are more “popular” than others and go through trends as celebrities take up a cause. From red to pink to blue when we promote awareness, funds are raised for better medicines and maybe even a cure.

two women wearing purple shirts

When Selena Gomez went public with her lupus diagnosis I wept for this girl yet knew our chances for a cure were just increased. As sad and awful as it is, when a disease gains a “celebrity” we gain awareness. Parkinson’s disease has Michael J. Fox, spinal cord paralysis had Christopher Reeve, numerous female celebrities have come forward with their battles with breast cancer and now lupus has Selena Gomez.

two women wearing purple shirts

Selena has been gracious enough to share some of her private battles via her social media. It’s one thing when I’m having a rough day and I’m in the hospital and I choose the share it with my friends on Facebook or Instagram. But when Selena shares it with her 136 million followers that makes a tiny bit more of an impact. This summer when she chose to share that she had undergone a kidney transplant and encouraged her followers to go to the Lupus Research Alliance’s website to learn more, traffic to the site was greatly increased and over $500,000 was raised. Since the Lupus Research Alliance is an organization where 100 percent of the funds raised go directly to research, this is an incredible boon for the cause.

collage of photos of people wearing purple

But Selena can only do so much. It’s up to all of us who care to spread awareness in our own ways. It may only reach my couple hundred of friends but it’s a start. But if even a handful of my friends wear purple and spread the word on Put on Purple Day, this year on May 20th, it can start a spark. And a spark can ignite a flame.

Image Credits: Amanda Newell

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Lupus

my many colored days book cover

How Dr. Seuss' Description of 'Purple Days' Perfectly Explains Chronic Illness

I’ve been reading the book “My Many Colored Days” by Dr. Seuss with my kindergarten music classes this week for a lesson. In this classic children’s tale, Dr. Seuss uses colors and illustrations to help children connect to their different emotional states at different times. I love this lesson and the children really connect to [...]
a group of people at a lupus walk

Why I'm 'Kicking Asphalt for Lupus' During Lupus Awareness Month

Sometimes you set out to do something little and it ends up being more than you anticipated. Sometimes you think you are doing something to help yourself, but you find you have become part of a solution for others. Sometimes you discover the big picture through a small act. And most of the time, all [...]
22 Photos That Show What Lupus Really Looks Like

22 Pictures That Show What Lupus Really Looks Like

May is Lupus Awareness Month, so it’s especially important during this time to raise awareness and promote understanding of the condition and those who live with it. Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own tissues and organs. Since lupus can attack just about any part of the body, symptoms may [...]
woman with her daughter and son, all wearing purple

Why I'm Sharing My Truth During Lupus Awareness Month

It’s another May so for most of you it means the days get longer, it’s time to renew your allergy medication and we switch from hot to iced coffee. For me and over 1.5 million Americans, it means Lupus Awareness Month. This is the time of year where we educate people, wear our purple and [...]