As 2012 kicks off, like many of you we are looking back on the year’s accomplishments while looking ahead to resolutions for the future.
As fathers of young women who have fought lupus since their teens, we look back on the year grateful to Human Genome Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline for introducing the first treatment for the disease in 50 years. As Lupus Research Institute Board co-chairs we take pride in the pioneering research the LRI has produced over the past decade — work that is bringing new treatments closer to reality for those who desperately need effective and less toxic medications.
Together with the most brilliant scientists working in lupus today, LRI again made significant impact this year — and it’s the resources of families and friends like you who have made this unparalleled progress in lupus research possible. Your help gave us the means to bring about:
- Millions in funding for unique, bold and unorthodox studies that are producing unequalled results and changing the field of lupus research.
- New biomarkers to predict and monitor kidney disease, aimed at eliminating the need for invasive kidney biopsies.
- First test to predict lupus flares, giving doctors and patients better ways to manage the disease.
- Quite possibly the most successful federal advocacy program ever for lupus on Capitol Hill. The LRI and our Coalition of advocacy groups across the country raised almost $5 million in federal funds to train physicians to properly recognize diagnose and treat lupus.
But despite these very significant advances, our job is far from done. People with lupus continue to suffer cruelly from this unrelenting disease. They need not just one new drug, but an arsenal of safe and effective treatments. Like you, we want not just to alleviate their suffering, but even more to eliminate it. And that takes a cure.
That’s why as we enter 2012, we continue to put our time, our hearts and our money into the LRI as the undisputed leader funding only the innovative research that can turn aspirations into achievements. Over the past decade, the LRI has produced many of the most pivotal discoveries in lupus, pioneering pathways to new drug development; and we continue to award millions each year to keep pushing the science forward.
Based on that body of knowledge and advances in technology, the LRI will now take the unprecedented step to proactively go after the cure. Not someday, as an inspirational vision every disease organization dreams of. But now, with a very real and scientifically well-founded initiative to find the fundamental root causes of lupus that can pave the way to the cure.
We need to all pull together to provide the resources needed for an initiative of this magnitude. The LRI is off to a running start with a substantial grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. But engaging the world’s finest scientists to focus their life’s work on lupus will take more than one grant. It will take contributions large and small from all of us determined to do everything possible for the someone we love with lupus.
On behalf of every lupus sufferer in our lives and yours, we ask you to share our New Year’s resolution — to stop lupus in its tracks. Please donate to making 2012 a Happy and Healthy New Year for patients who deserve nothing less than Life Without Lupus.
Thank you and best wishes,
Jack Lavery and Robert Ravitz
Board Co-Chairmen, Lupus Research Institute