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Leading the way to a cure

Lupus Research Update: 2011 Volume 4

Volume 4, 2011 - Online Edition | In This Issue


Leading the Way to a Cure >
Research in Action: Clinical Trial Study Offers New Hope >
Understanding Lupus: Terminology and Processes >
Faces of Lupus: A Voice for Many >
10 Reasons Why Donor Support Remains Critical >
Lupus News Corner >

Faces of Lupus: A Voice for Many

The day that Allison Guzy found out she has lupus, a surprising emotion surfaced — relief. Although she was still a teen, her diagnosis ended years of uncertainty.

“I had been vocal about the joint pain I had been experiencing for nine or ten years,” she explained. “But doctors brushed it off. They thought I was seeking attention.”

While they tried test after test, Allison’s symptoms worsened. And by the time she was a freshman at the University of Colorado, she was dealing with bouts of dangerously high fevers that would last for days and required her to go to the hospital. Allison wasn’t formally diagnosed until she saw a rheumatologist later that year.

Now she takes medicine to keep her lupus in check, and Allison has begun feeling better. Her grades have gone up, and today she is enthusiastically studying French at the University of Miami, where she can be closer to her family.

Knowing her health status allows Allison to pace herself and to ask for help when she begins to feel overwhelmed by schoolwork. “I found support in many places … my family, my teachers, and also the ALR,” Allison said with gratitude.

She first became acquainted with the ALR through a family friend who is related to Woody Johnson, Chairman of the organization. Woody asked her if she wanted to volunteer and soon Allison was speaking at an ALR meeting to a packed audience of scientists and lupus experts.

Since then Allison has found a talent for telling her story, while advocating for everyone with the disease. In fact, she recently spoke at the opening of a New York Jets game at MetLife Stadium, giving a personal account of what it means to live with the disease.

There is no stopping this 21-year-old lupus advocate. On top of everything else, she is also a persuasive fundraiser for the annual Walk with Us to Cure Lupusevents in New York City. In just two years, she and her team have raised more than $36,000 for the ALR!

“It is so easy to tell people that this wonderful board is paying all the administrative costs and that 100% of their donation will go directly toward critical research,” said Allison. “It shows how great the ALR is — how committed it is to this cause.”

Allison is a bright motivated young woman who capably wears many hats — and the ALR is grateful that she has decided to serve this organization with her passion to help find a cure.


1.5 million

people in the U.S. have Lupus.

100 million

dollars committed to lupus research by the Alliance for Lupus Research.


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