The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) and our National Patient Coalition commend Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) for her efforts as co-chair of the Congressional Lupus Caucus in raising awareness of lupus during May Lupus Awareness Month. Rep. Johnson announced in a powerful op ed piece in The Hill entitled “Lupus is Not Arthritis,” that the Caucus is holding a “Lupus 101” briefing on May 7.
Rep. Johnson dramatizes the need for lupus awareness by relaying the story of Mahlia Mahid who was diagnosed at seven years old after six months of misdiagnoses that included such communicable diseases as scabies. As Rep. Johnson describes, Mahlia was made to feel like a “pariah” when her school asked her to stay away in case she was contagious.
Noting the need for research support, Rep. Johnson is calling on her colleagues to “work together to fund scientific efforts to find the cause, better treatments, and ultimately a cure for this devastating disease, and that children like Mahlia can live a great life.”