In a first in Asia, Lupus patients walk the ramp

In a first in Asia, Lupus patients walk the ramp
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Highlights

On the occasion of World Lupus Day, Lupus Ramp Walk was organised in the city on Friday. This is the first time that the walk was organised in Asia. Some 40 lupus patients participated in the ramp walk.

Hyderabad: On the occasion of World Lupus Day, Lupus Ramp Walk was organised in the city on Friday. This is the first time that the walk was organised in Asia. Some 40 lupus patients participated in the ramp walk.

Almost 300 people from different walks of life made their presence felt. The concept was the brainchild of Dr Sarath Chandra Mouli Veeravalli, Clinical Director of the Rheumatology Department at KIMS Hospitals, as part of his landmark SELP project to beat the Lupus Stigma in the society.

Prof G Narsimulu, former HOD of Rheumatology dept at NIMS and ex-president of Indian Rheumatology Association, along with Dr Purnima Nagaraja, senior psychiatrist at Dhrithi Psychiatry Care, who is a lupus patient, also graced the occasion. Along with them, Rheumatologists Dr Rajkiran, Dr Varaprasad and Dr Dheeraj also participated in the event

Ananya Polisetty gracefully walked the ramp. Overwhelmed with this move her mother, Shubha Polisetty, expressed her feelings and said, "As the parents of our 16-year-old daughter, who was diagnosed with juvenile SLE (a form of Lupus) at the age of 3, the journey has been a rollercoaster of coming to terms with Lupus and that there is no cure for it, its ramifications, multiple flare-ups and complications.

Things that help Ananya are her regular visits to doctors, physical exercises like basketball, swimming, yoga and physiotherapy twice a week. Regular meditation also calms her down and makes her ready to take on the world."

Steffie Gonsalvez, restaurateur and a brave Lupus warrior since 2009, also walked the ramp and said, "I am honoured to be part of the Butterfly Project 'The Lupus Ramp Walk.' I want to share a message to my fellow lupus warriors that I might not know who you are, but I know what you're going through and I want you to be able to live and not just survive. I urge you to come forward and seek the medical assistance you require. Remember, Lupus might slow you down, but can't stop you!"

Dr Sarath Chandra Mouli said, "Lupus is seen in 1 in 1,000 people, and 9 out of 10 affected patients are women. The most affected age group is between 15 and 45 years (reproductive age), but it can affect little children also. It may take more than 3 years to see a rheumatologist due to lack of awareness, both in the public and among doctors."

A global health problem, lupus affects people of all nationalities, races, ethnicity, gender and age. Lupus can affect any part of the body in any way at any time, often with unpredictable and life-changing results. Lupus is a long-term autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue.

Symptoms include inflammation, swelling, and damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs. World Lupus Day serves to rally lupus organisations and people affected by the disease around the world for a common purpose of securing greater attention and resources to end the suffering caused by this disabling and potentially fatal autoimmune disease.

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