I'd like to bring awareness to lupus, which affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans. It is an acute and chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and tissue damage. It is two to three times more common among African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Native Americans.
Signs include fatigue, painful joints, muscle weakness, fever, chest pain, trouble thinking, hair loss, skin rash and low blood count. My identical twin and I advocated in Washington, D.C. with the Lupus Research Institute. One of us has lived with it for more than 18 years.
We hope our advocacy efforts bring awareness, education and further research towards a cure.
-- Deidre Baptista, Rocklin