New York, NY, April 6, 2005 – The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) and its National Coalition of state and local patient organizations today announced the launch of a hard-hitting public service campaign featuring actor James Garner, designed to alert women to the risks and dangers of lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that targets young women between the ages of 15 and 44.
The National Kidney Foundation and WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease are joining with the LRI National Coalition to promote the “Get into the Loop” campaign, to alert the public to the symptoms of lupus and its potential consequences. The campaign television advertisement focuses on how lupus can start with seemingly minor symptoms (fatigue, fever, joint pain) but can cause more serious complications and even be fatal. James Garner , this year’s winner of the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, says in the TV ad, “Lupus has scarred my youngest daughter’s life. Protect Yourself. Get the Facts. Get into the Loop.”
One of America’s least recognized major diseases, lupus affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans – 90 percent of whom are women. Lupus is the common name for the disorder known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which causes the body’s immune system to attack its own healthy tissues and organs. A recent New England Journal of Medicine report documented that lupus is directly responsible for plaque build-up that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Furthermore, approximately half of all people with lupus will develop lupus-related kidney disease that can potentially lead to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or kidney transplant.
“Many of the studies sponsored by the LRI are aimed at understanding the mechanisms of lupus-related heart and kidney disease so we can pinpoint patients at risk at an earlier stage and begin therapy before the disease progresses,” said Daniel J. Wallace, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center/David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and author of the new third edition of The Lupus Book.
Film Style Highlights Serious Message
Created pro bono by New York ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, the 30-second television ad was shot with a hand held camera, capturing a sense of realism as the camera followed women going about their day. The monochromatic look of the black and white footage and the quick transitions between scenes, create a dramatic feel to emphasize the seriousness of the message.
The TV spot incorporates the popular “Get into the Loop” call to action slogan and reinforces the bright orange Loop as the visible symbol for lupus. Viewers of the PSA are encouraged to call 1-877-789-LOOP for more information about lupus and for local resources. The public can also visit www.intotheloop.org for information.
Garner also encourages support for the lupus cause by wearing the orange “Life without Lupus” wristband. “Everyone can help spread awareness of lupus and support research to find the cause and cure by wearing the “Life without Lupus” wristband,” said Garner.
The Lupus Research Institute is the national nonprofit organization dedicated to novel research to prevent, treat and cure lupus. Its National Coalition of state and local lupus patient organizations promotes public awareness about the seriousness of lupus and the need for increased research.