October is famously known as "breast cancer awareness month".
Everywhere you turn you can find ways to buy something pink and benefit the ongoing research for a cure. Later on the week I will share my favorite "pink" products, but today I would like to focus on "purple" products, instead.
See, another illness that unfortunately has chosen October as its research awareness month is Lupus, and purple is its "sponsoring" color.
I write "unfortunately" because any October Lupus awareness voice tends to be overshadowed by the million of screaming pink survivors. Nothing against the pink survivors, but I am somewhat closer to the purple fighters.
If you don't know much about Lupus, you can visit the Lupus Foundation of America for a primer. And the Cure4Lupus site has a great symptoms list page.
In general lines, there are two types of Lupus: a systemic lupus (SLE) that can affect pretty much every organ in your body (and kill you), and a skin lupus (Discoid) which is milder and more forgiving than the systemic one.
One of the slogans of Lupus is: "Someone you know has Lupus" to emphasize how common the illness is, but at the same time how little people know about it.
And while Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44), men, children and teenagers develop Lupus, too.
Case in point: did you know that Seal's face scars were caused by Discoid Lupus?
Lupus in Latin means "Wolf", and the name was given to this illness because of patients that showed these facial markings resembling the marks left by the "bite of a wolf".
And now it looks like Michael Jackson suffered from skin Lupus also.
Was Lupus the reason for Michael's glove?
So this month, together with the pink, buy something purple as well. :)
These are my favorite purple products:
Purple Lupus Wristband
This Chick's Gone Purple for Lupus Awareness shirt
The butterfly is another symbol of Lupus, still relating to the facial marks that people with Lupus might get.
The butterfly rash (a redness that spreads on the nose and across the cheeks in a butterfly shape) is in fact one of the symptoms that help doctors diagnose Lupus.
SuperJeweler.com will donate $60 from each sale of this 1/4ct diamond and amethyst butterfly pendant in 14k white gold to The Lupus Foundation of America-Illinois Chapter
Other ways to donate:
Alliance for Lupus Research
Finally, Woody Johnson (his daughter has Lupus), the New York Jets owner, invites you on Saturday, October 24th, 2009 to walk for Lupus at the New York City ALR Walk with Us to Cure Lupus. If you can't walk, you can always donate.