What Is Lupus? Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.
Why Lupus? Pauls younger sister, Marie, was diagnosed with the condition when she was just 14 years old. Why the Lupus Foundation of America? Paul raises money for the LFA as they have been supporters of his cycling exploits.
Who is the LFA?
Who We Are and What We Do The Lupus Foundation of America is the only national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, one of the world’s cruelest, most unpredictable, and devastating diseases, while giving caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. Through a comprehensive program of research, education, and advocacy, we lead the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus.
A Comprehensive Strategy Lupus is a complex disease that requires a comprehensive strategy. Across the nation, we bring together all stakeholders with an interest in lupus to:
Lead special research initiatives, fund innovative studies, and advocate for increased public and private investment in lupus research to advance the science and medicine of lupus;
Translate research findings into useful programs, information, and tools for people with lupus, and ensure health professionals know about new means to diagnose and manage the disease;
Conduct outreach efforts to increase public understanding of lupus, and share stories of those who suffer from the disease to rally public support to join the fight to end lupus; and,
Provide caring support to people with lupus, their families and their caregivers, and help guide them through the complexities of living with lupus.
About our Programs and Services The Lupus Foundation of America convenes lupus experts, implements strategies, provides resources, and rallies support nationwide to help solve the cruel mystery of lupus.
Research Our national research program, Bringing Down the Barriers™, aggressively seeks to advance the science and medicine of lupus. We convene experts from many medical specialties to identify the most urgent scientific challenges, and aggressively pursue an agenda to find answers to the most difficult questions.
Education & Support We are here to listen, to provide answers, and to give caring support. Our health educators answer questions, provide tools, resources, and referrals to doctors who treat lupus, and help guide individuals and their families affected by lupus toward a better quality of life.
Advocacy Weadvocate on behalf of all people with lupus, their families, and the health professionals who care for them. We educate government officials and industry leaders on the urgent need to expand public and private investment in lupus research, education programs, and support services.
National Network Our National Network is composed of chapters, offices, and support groups in communities throughout the United States. As a united force, we lead a nationwide movement to solve the cruel mystery of lupus and improve the quality of life for all people who suffer from its impact.
Donor Support The Lupus Foundation of America is a charitable organization with tax-exempt status granted under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our Federal ID# is 43-1131436. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.
Throughout all of his cycling endeavours Paul supports Lupus UK and the Lupus Foundation of America. Through his adventures Paul has raised thousands of pounds for research into better lives for Lupus sufferers.
Paul Spencer is a British born endurance athlete who competes in long distance cycling events and challenges.