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Guv declares May ‘Lupus Awareness Month’

May will be "Lupus Awareness Month" in Idaho, under a proclamation signed this morning by Gov. Butch Otter, to draw attention to what Otter called "an important public health issue." Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, said her 12-year-old granddaughter died of the disease in 2005, just six months after being diagnosed. "It is devastating to those who have it. It is devastating to their families," Broadsword said. "I hope all Idahoans realize how this can impact lives, and forming groups in their area can support those who have the disease.”

As he signed the proclamation, Otter acknowledged Idaho support groups for sufferers of the deadly disease, including the Treasure Valley Lupus Now group, which can be reached at 250-8699. As part of today's events, the Lupus Foundation placed purple flamingos near the capitol to draw attention to the disease and increase public awareness as part of its “Wings for Lupus” fundraising campaign.

Broadsword said her granddaughter would have graduated from high school next month, had she lived. "The disease attacks the organs of those who have it," she said. "Often you can't tell from the outside there is anything wrong." There's more information about the disease here.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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