(Contest Nominee) LUPUS FOUNDATION OF COLORADO Gives Help for Today and Hope for Tomorrow

LUPUS FOUNDATION OF COLORADO is one of seven local charities nominated in Citywide Banks’ Charity Hand-Up Contest taking place October 1-14, 2013. The Denver/Boulder community is invited to vote for a nominee and enter prize drawings. The charity receiving the most contest votes will receive a $5,000 donation, while the other nominees will split $2,500 in donations based on the voting results.

CLICK HERE to Vote on Facebook by Oct. 14CLICK HERE to vote in Facebook contest

More people suffer from Lupus, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease, than AIDS, sickle cell anemia, cerebral palsy and cystic fibrosis, combined; yet it’s the least known of all major diseases.

It’s difficult to diagnose and is often mistaken for other autoimmune diseases. It’s challenging to manage because it’s hard to predict how it will manifest. And, to date, there is no cure for the 20,000 people in Colorado and over 1 million Americans who currently suffer from the disease, the vast majority women.

That’s why the Lupus Foundation of Colorado (LFC) was founded in 1972. The nonprofit’s mission is simply to be the very best resource for people in Colorado suffering from Lupus, and their families.

Founded by a group of women who were concerned about the lack of resources and information available in Colorado for people with Lupus, and who also sought support from others who were going through what they were going through, the LFC started off simply by distributing pamphlets of information. Now, 40 years later, they provide high quality and technologically advanced information through their website and webinars, dedicated outreach and advocacy, and financial support to anyone in Colorado who suffers from Lupus, and their families.

“We recently added the emergency assistance component because sometimes people just find themselves caught in a trap for which there is no other assistance,” explained Debbie Lynch, CEO of the Lupus Foundation of Colorado. “Sometimes we help with a co-pay or money to buy groceries. Or dental work or eye glasses because Lupus has impacted their teeth or eyes in some fashion.”

LFC is also a strong supporter of innovative research and fundraising for the Lupus Research Initiative.  The initiative funds many research projects being conducted locally at the University of Colorado Hospital and National Jewish Health Center. And it administers an Energy Outreach Colorado grant to help clients pay their utilities in time of need.

With Lupus, of which there is no known cause, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue and can affect almost any organ in the body, such as skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and the pancreas. Symptoms, which include sun sensitivity, rashes, fever, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain, can range from mild to severe, but still 20,000 Americans die of Lupus related complications every year.

“It’s often called the great masquerader because it looks like other autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, thus the reason it’s so hard to diagnose,” explained Lynch.

Although there is no known cure, progress has been made in medicines and lifestyle changes that can help minimize “flare ups” and improve quality of life. One of the biggest areas of progress is earlier detection due to new tools and research.

To help the LFC, Lynch says they do host a few events that you can participate in and/or volunteer to help run such as their September 25th event called Kids with Lupus. But, a lot of their fundraising efforts are focused on individual giving. “New events are hard to grow and we’re a small organization,” explained Lynch. “But anyone can make a financial contribution in honor or memory of someone. They can designate it to research, or the emergency assistance program.” They’re also always looking for volunteers or new ideas to help promote the organization.

A $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks would go toward expanding LFC’s children’s network, since they’ve seen a growing number of young people diagnosed with the disease, which, in the past, has usually first affected women during childbearing years. The rest of the donation would go into their emergency assistance fund.

“Kids suffering from Lupus are often very isolated,” commented Lynch. “They experience physical changes due to the medication and they need a different type of support as well as a peer network.”

For more information on ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.LupusColorado.org.

Vote to Give Lupus Foundation a $5,000 Hand-Up
As a Colorado owned bank focused entirely on the Front Range, Citywide Banks shares a commitment to our local community with the Lupus Foundation of Colorado. Through our Charity Hand-Up Contest, we are proud to spotlight the great work and ongoing needs of local nonprofits. Based on the results of a 14-day Facebook vote, the local community will determine how $7,500 is split among seven Colorado charities nominated by Citywide Banks employees. The charity receiving the most votes will receive $5,000 and the runner-up will receive $1,000. The remaining donation amounts will correspond to the voting results for each nominated charity. The voting public can also enter to win great prizes, including dinner for two at one of Denver’s top restaurants. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here. Full contest details are at www.CitywideBanks.com/charity/.

How to Cast Your Vote – October 1-14
The contest is open to the general public within the Denver/Boulder community (non-customers welcome to participate; no purchase necessary). The easiest way to vote is online by clicking the “Charity Contest” tab on the Citywide Banks Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Users will need to “like” the bank’s Facebook page to cast a vote and enter prize drawing online. One vote/entry is permitted during the 14-day contest. After voting on Facebook, users can use the sharing buttons to easily invite their Facebook friends to vote for their favorite charity.

Spread the Word about Lupus Foundation
Tell your coworkers, friends, and family in Colorado about the great work Lupus Foundation is doing. Then, tell them to cast their vote on Facebook during the contest. Use the sharing buttons above this article, on the Facebook voting page, or throughout Citywide Banks’ social media pages to help spread the word.

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