The Lupus Foundation of America, Piedmont Chapter and the Lupus Foundation of America, Winston-Triad Chapter announced on Monday that they have merged together and formed the Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter.
The new chapter is headquartered in Charlotte and is led by statewide representation on the board, committees and staff. All current and existing programs and support groups will remain in existence, and will serve all 100 counties in the state.
“This amazing consolidation of resources is the realization of a dream we’ve all longed to see fulfilled. Now the Lupus Foundation of America will proudly speak with one voice within North Carolina ensuring that no resident of our great state is turned away for service and support,” said Christine John-Fuller, President & CEO of the North Carolina Chapter.
Lupus is an unpredictable autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body and has no known cause or cure.
Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. According to a statement released by the Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter, an estimated 45,000 North Carolina residents and 1.5 million Americans are estimated to have a form of lupus.
“Fulfilling the mission of the Lupus Foundation of America in running the Winston-Triad Chapter for more than thirty years has been very rewarding,” said Ruth Banbury, board chairman and the founder of the Winston-Triad Chapter.
The Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter plan includes patient navigation through the chapter help line, 13 regional support groups, financial assistance, and opportunities to volunteer and participate in fund-raising.
An eight city Town Hall Tour is planned to share the mission and services of the chapter, hear from community members about needs, and discuss how people can be involved.
“We look forward to being part of the statewide chapter to ensure that lupus programs and services are available for all North Carolina residents,” said Banbury.
John-Fuller said, “We’d also like to commend Ruth Banbury, and her husband Jim, whose passion and dedication for the lupus community for more than thirty years is unwavering and is helping pave the way to increase awareness about and research to treat lupus. Their board will continue to be integral to our efforts in helping solve the cruel mystery behind lupus.”
For more information on lupus, the Town Hall Tour and other future plans for the chapter visit www.lupusnc.org.