If you’ve been sidelined by the Lupus disease or if you care for someone suffering from the disease, take some control back and become a Lupus advocate. A lupus advocate can do many things to help educate people about this disease. Many people take the first step to advocacy by joining the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. This organization will provide you with the latest information on the disease as well as ways to become more involved as an advocate. Some ways that you can become more involved include letter-writing campaigns, joining a local Lupus Foundation chapter, making phone calls to state representatives and sending emails or faxes.
When you become a lupus advocate you will be helping over 1.5 million people suffering from the disease. The main objectives of advocacy for the Lupus Foundation are to increase federal funding for Lupus research, educate the public about Lupus and to expand services for those who are afflicted with Lupus.
One of the easiest ways to become a Lupus advocate at any level is to sign up on the Lupus Foundation’s website. The Lupus Foundation provides you with tools for contacting representatives at the local, state and national level by mail, email and fax. They also provide you with local media contacts in your zip code so that you may contact local radio stations, newspapers or television stations about events being staged in your area as well provide information about pending legislation.
You don’t have to be a doctor, nurse or a Lupus expert to become a Lupus advocate. All you need is a desire to share your experiences and information about this disease with other people.
Perhaps you prefer the direct approach. The quickest way to approach representatives, congressmen and senators is to contact their office directly by phone. The protocol for calling a member of the legislature is as follows:
1. Identify yourself as a constituent
2. Ask to speak with the aide that is handling the issues you want to comment on
3. Tell them that you want to leave a message
4. Identify the bill that you are supporting or opposing
5. State the reasons for your position
6. Ask what your representative’s position is on the bill
7. Request a written response or a follow up phone call
No matter how you choose to become a Lupus advocate you will be able to help many people suffering from a disease with no known cure. A small investment in your time can prove invaluable to those diagnosed with Lupus.