What’s New in the World of Lupus?
June is bringing great things in the world of lupus, lupus research and the search for a cure. From new studies involving Vitamin D levels to prizes being awarded/created to innovative and brilliant minds to the government granting more money to research, good things are ahead.
A study performed by Dr Daniel Birmingham and colleagues, who collected data from an Ohio SLE study, have concluded that there is a significant relation between low vitamin D levels and flare ups. In the study participants were screened at 2 and 4 months prior to flare up and at flare up during low daylight months (October through March). Also, Caucasian participants showed greater vitamin D level decreases than the African-American participants. This being attributed to UVB screening effects of pigmentation in the skin. More detailed studies are underway, but all in all, it’s better to be elevated than decreased.
At 21 years old, Hannah Craig is the picture of health and happiness, but you would never know what she’s been through. At just 6 weeks old, Hannah was diagnosed with Lupus, an auto immune disease that attacks vital organs, including the kidneys. Hannah’s mother Doreen donated a kidney to her, and it lasted for 19 years. But recently, it started to fail, and it was time once again to look for another miracle donor. So with the help of her cousin, Hannah took her search to Facebook.
“Numerous people stepped up and said yeah lets do it, lets donate,” Hannah said. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently created a donor registry on Facebook. It allows users to share their decision to be an organ donor on the website. And it wasn’t long before 28-year-old Hillary Glanzer, an old family friend, reached out with a life saving gesture.
“It kind of hit home, if I could help her, that’s what I wanted to do,” Hillary said.
After a series of tests, doctors determined Hillary was a perfect match. Hoping to keep the mood upbeat before the operation, Hillary’s mom decided to name the kidney “Irene,” after the popular Nat King Cole song, “Goodnight Irene.”
“Everybody was saying, ‘oh Irene is doing great. Irene is doing great in Hannah’s body.’ It made everybody laugh, kept things kind of light,” Hillary said.
A week after the transplant, Hannah, Hillary and “Irene” are doing well.
“It’s an amazing gift to give someone, it’s just wonderful. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook for having that social network around to inspire transplants and stories,” Hannah said.