Lupus Foundation of Northern California
Established 30 years. 28 subchapters throughout California. Provides health education programs and public awareness to help those afflicted with lupus, and supports research for the treatment and cure of lupus.
Every gift makes a difference to our organization. For example, some people cannot afford our education classes but would really benefit from attending. For as little as $25, you can subsidize the tuition of one person taking our class. We have been reaching out more to minority groups and will continue to expand and tailor our services to those groups, as lupus is more common among African-Americans, Latinas, and Asians than it is in non-Hispanic Caucasians. We are also expanding our Youth Support and Outreach Program to numerous areas of California. Our vision is a community in which all individuals impacted by lupus have the knowledge and support to live their lives to the fullest.
Often when a patient is first diagnosed with lupus, she or he has no idea what lupus is or what to expect. She/he seeks information and support which doctors usually don't have the time to offer. Our organization has an extensive website, www.balf.org, which houses a vast library of medical articles written for the layperson on lupus, its various symptoms, and ways to manage the disease. There is also a Spanish section on our website. We also provide a video lending library, education classes in English and Spanish, 28 support groups throughout Northern and Central California, and semi-annual conferences featuring physician speakers. Our programs also target youth and clients who speak foreign languages. Learning to understand the many ramifications of lupus and overcoming any unwarranted fears are vital elements in living a productive life.
The fiscal year 2003/2004 was a momentous year. We commemorated our 25th Anniversary with a Gala and raised $50,000 for lupus research. This was donated to the Johns Hopkins Autoimmune Disease Center. By our fiscal year's end we distributed and additional $95,000 among the Lupus Research Institute, the Alliance for Lupus Research and Dr. Davis Wofsy's research efforts in cognitive dysfunction in lupus patients. More than 22,000 individuals requested and received our health education newsletter and support services. Some of our newer services include a quarterly newsletter in Spanish and a Spanish section on our website, http://www.balf.org a youth outreach support group program; posters advertising lupus symptoms in buses and implementing our new 27-minute education video "Understanding Lupus" in our patient education program.