Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Association to hold Walk-A-Payung event to raise money for lupus fund

PERSATUAN Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Malaysia (PSLEM) will be holding its annual Walk-A-Payung event on Sunday at Sunway Pyramid in Subang Jaya to raise RM500,000 for its Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) Fund.
More than five million people worldwide mostly women are diagnosed with SLE or lupus for short, a potentially life-threatening auto-immune disease that causes the immune system to attack the body’s own healthy tissue.
The fund will be used to help poor patients pay for replacement joints and lenses for cataract surgery, body parts that become damaged with long-term use of steroids that are used to manage lupus.
According to PSLEM vice-president and consultant rheumatologist Dr Yeap Swan Sim, lupus afflicts people between the ages of 15 and 44.
The disease often goes unnoticed because its primary symptoms – joint pain, fatigue, skin rashes, and fevers – mimic many common illnesses, which could cause people to receive treatment for conditions they may not have.
“Lupus is not contagious. At the present time, lupus has no cure and can be fatal.
“It spares no organ – every part of the body can be affected by lupus, including the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys and brain.
“There have been no new drugs for lupus in over 40 years. Drugs used to control the disease are borrowed from other diseases,” she said.
The organising chairman of the event, Datin Rahmah Kassim, said walkers would be carrying umbrellas during the 2km walk as a sign of solidarity with lupus patients, who could experience a relapse with exposure to sunlight.
“We are aiming to raise RM500,000 to be used to support needy patients to buy what are known as spare parts — joint replacements and lenses among others; as well as to help patients pay for medications used for their treatment.
“The fund will also be used to increase counseling services for lupus patients and their families,” Rahmah said.
“We expect more than 1,000 walkers to take part at the event.
“There will be free health checks, games, quizzes, performances and much more that will keep the family entertained, while supporting this good cause,” she said.
Tickets priced at RM20 each are available at PSLEM’s office in Petaling Jaya and at RealRewards’ office in Subang Jaya.
Members of the public or corporations who would like to support the event can contact Chee at 03-7957 7672 or e-mail: or or visit the association’s website at

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