The Marco Island/Naples Lupus Support Group held a Purple Party in the Park at Sugden Regional Park in Naples on March 11. The purpose of the gathering was to raise awareness and help raise funds for research of the cruel and unpredictable malady. Approximately 250 people turned out to offer support and walk the one and a half mile route around the beautiful sixty-acre fresh water lake in honor of current patients and those lost to the disease. There was a sea of purple tutus, balloons, butterflies and smiling faces. The gathering was entertained by Rosetta Stone and a variety of guest speakers including Amy Yalden, the CEO of the Lupus Foundation of Florida.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease which can attack any joint or organ in the body. It is thought to be genetic but in many cases no known cause is found and therefore it is very difficult to diagnose and treat. Ninety percent of lupus patients are women and the illness usually rears its ugly head between the ages of fifteen and forty four, or the childbearing years. The organizers of the event were Jan Cirillo and Marilyn Honahan, facilitator and co-facilitator of the local lupus support group, as well as the members of the group known as the Super Lupers. The support group has been in existence for three and a half years and has helped many patients with advice, information and sharing. The group meets on the third Saturday of each month from 10:30 AM to 12 noon at Physicians Regional Medical Center, Palm Dining Room, 8300 Collier Blvd., Naples.
For information or assistance contact Marilyn at 239-398-4800 or Jan at 239-389-2749.