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May 18, 2012

Lupus Walk raises awareness about the illness

Erolyn Middleton Frazer

While the Youth Voices team spread the message with talk, another local group is doing much the same with their walk.  Many may not be familiar with the incurable disease called, Lupus, which can be damaging to different body systems, including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, the heart, and lungs. You also may not be aware that May is internationally observed as Lupus Awareness Month. That is why the newly formed Belize Lupus Association (BeLA) is taking up the task of spreading awareness about the disease. BeLA was founded by Erolyn Middleton Frazer, whose niece and husband were diagnosed with Lupus in the past two years. With the help of relatives, she has been reaching out to persons affected or afflicted with Lupus, with the intention of procuring new members for the association. Frazer is now reaching out to the general public to support Belize’s first Lupus Walk, which is being held on Saturday evening. The event, according to Frazer, will also serve as a fundraiser to assist affected persons and to get the association off the ground.

 

Erolyn Middleton Frazer, Founder, Belize Lupus Association

“Lupus International, they have a yearly Lupus Walk that they do as well so we jumped on board and decided to have a walk here in Belize to spread awareness.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“Tell us a bit about the route and so; where the walk starts.”

 

Erolyn Middleton Frazer

“The walk starts tomorrow evening at six p.m. at San Cas roundabout. From there we go over Belcan, onto Cemetery, Orange Street, Albert Street and then we end at Battlefield Park.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“What are you hoping to accomplish from this? I know this is the first event.”

 

Erolyn Middleton Frazer

“Well, it is the first Lupus Walk ever and hopefully after this, yearly. And currently it is just to spread awareness as lupus is quite common in Belize but still, a lot of people don’t know about it. When you get diagnosed with lupus you actually feel that you are the only person with the disease so I’m trying to spread awareness and let people know that there is such a thing as lupus and it is in Belize. Tomorrow I’d like to invite the public to come out and walk with us, spread the awareness and support the cause. Also on the twenty-seventh, we’re having a church service in Belmopan at the Belmopan Nazarene Church. All is welcomed again to come out and support. We also have some sponsor sheets that some of the persons who are suffering with lupus, they will be asking for donations because seriously we’re broke. The money that we’re spending is out of our pockets, money that we don’t have but because we need to spread the awareness we don’t mind; it really doesn’t matter. So I’m asking if the general public could just assist, if you see anybody come up to you with a paper asking for donation, by all means even if it’s a dollar we accept it. And also we’ll be having some T-Shirts tomorrow for the walk, a donation of twenty dollars. If you cannot afford to get one of our shirts, then you can always put on a purple shirt or a white shirt, and we’ll have some purple ribbons to give to you so you can walk in solidarity with us.”

 

Today is also being observed as Wear Purple for Lupus Day.

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