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Bahamians lost to Lupus remembered at Hope Floats

  • Family members and friends of lupus sufferers released balloons yesterday in memory of those who have died from the disease. TORRELL GLINTON

Published: May 21, 2013

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On Whit Monday, more than 100 Bahamians gathered at the top of Fort Charlotte for Hope Floats, a balloon release ceremony to remember Bahamians who have died from lupus.

For the second year in a row, Lupus 242 partnered with event sponsors The Balloon People for the ceremony, which included poems, tributes by loved ones and the reading of a list of names of Bahamians loss to lupus.

Shortly after 11 a.m., 100 biodegradable orange and purple balloons floated across the sky.  Purple represents the strength and courage needed to fight lupus and the orange represents research and hope for a cure.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease impacting millions around the world.  Although there is no known cause for the disease, genetics, environment and hormones all play a part in whether a person develops lupus.  Common symptoms include debilitating pain, fatigue and unexplained flare-ups impacting random parts of the body, especially internal organs.  There are no real statistics on the number of persons in The Bahamas with lupus.

“Today, we pause to commemorate our fellow lupus fighters who have died.  We wanted to honor their memories and to give families an opportunity to pay tribute to their loved ones,” said Shanelle Brennen, Lupus 242 president and a lupus fighter for more than 20 years.  “Lupus 242 is focused on raising awareness and providing support.  Hope Floats allows us to show support to caretakers and relatives of those who have passed on from lupus.”

In addition to Hope Floats, the group will hold a Purple Hat Tea Party Affair on Sunday, May 26 at St. Matthew’s Parish Hall.  Special thanks to event sponsors The Balloon People, Impact Images & Designs, DJ Benny Tynes and the management and staff at Fort Charlotte.

For more information on the group and for information on upcoming events please visit Facebook/Lupus242, call 448-1825 or email lupus-bahamas@hotmail.com.

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