The Jets, the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) and the Atlantic Health Jets Women's Organization (AHJWO) will host ALR Lupus Awareness Day on Sunday at MetLife Stadium when the Jets take on the New England Patriots.
This event is designed to increase awareness of lupus, a devastating autoimmune disease, promote the ALR's mission to prevent, treat and cure lupus through medical research, and, most important, raise funds for lupus research.
Jets events supporting the ALR have raised over $10 million for lupus research programs. Prior to the Jets-Patriots kickoff at 1 p.m., AHJWO members along with ALR staff and volunteers will distribute ALR-branded reusable shopping bags and collect donations from fans entering the stadium gates. In addition, the ALR and the Jets are encouraging fans to text LUPUS to 85944 to donate $10 to support lupus research.
The Alliance for Lupus Research was created in 1999 by Robert Wood Johnson IV, the owner of the New York Jets, when his daughter was diagnosed with lupus. In trying to find the best possible care for her, he was dismayed at the lack of effective treatments and the scarcity of private support for the disease. Johnson was convinced that the key to funding better treatments for lupus and ultimately a way to prevent and cure the disease was to dramatically increase research funding.
It is in this spirit that the ALR has become, over a short amount of time, the largest private funder of lupus research in the world. The ALR board of directors funds all administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of all donations received goes directly to support lupus research programs.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which a person's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, cells and organs. Symptoms are unpredictable and can range from extreme fatigue, skin rashes, severe joint inflammation and muscle pain to organ failure and even death. Lupus is not a rare disease — an estimated 1.5 million Americans suffer from it. More people are diagnosed with lupus than those who suffer from diseases such as leukemia, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis or cystic fibrosis.
The exact cause of lupus is unknown. However, research suggests it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors (e.g., infection, sunlight, stress) that trigger the disease in susceptible individuals. Ninety percent of those diagnosed with lupus are women and the disease is especially prevalent among those of African American, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American descent.
For more information about the Alliance for Lupus Research, call 800-867-1743 or visit lupusresearch.org.