Lupus LA, a non-profit health organization, was founded in 2000 by a concerned group of lupus families spearheaded by Daniel J. Wallace, MD, attending physician in the Division of Rheumatology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a clinical professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. Created in 2000, Lupus LA is a non-profit healthcare organization dedicated to finding the causes of and a cure for lupus while providing support, services and hope to all who have lupus. With an operating budget of approximately $1.5M and a fulltime staff of four, Lupus LA raises funds for our three core values: supporting medical research, providing patient services, and promoting awareness and advocacy.
Lupus LA raises funds for its patient programs, local rheumatology fellowships and research projects and for our national research partner, the Lupus Research Alliance (LRA). Since the year 2000, Lupus LA has raised over $10,000,000 dollars for the cause, primarily through special events such as the LA Marathon, the Orange Ball, MBJAM 17: a courtside carnival, Get Lucky for Lupus LA Celebrity Poker Tournament, and the Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon.
Raising awareness is also an important part of the Lupus LA mission. While lupus is widespread, awareness and accurate knowledge about it are lacking. Research shows that although 1.5 million people in the U.S. have lupus, nearly two-thirds of the public knows little or nothing about the disease. In fact, more Americans have lupus than AIDS, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, sickle-cell anemia and cystic fibrosis, making it one of this country’s most prevalent medical problems. In Los Angeles County alone, there are over 60,000 people suffering from lupus.
Lupus LA raises awareness through events along with extensive local, regional and national media coverage – in print and on TV, radio and the Internet. This is made possible through the support of Hollywood – both celebrities and industry executives.