As summer draws to a close, we’re taking a moment to reflect on our summer. May was Lupus Awareness Month and was a busy time for us, with a successful 5K Walk and Run, a communications campaign to raise awareness and a host of other events and efforts to help elevate understanding and support. Thank you to everyone in our lupus community who rallied around the cause!
Despite strong efforts on the part of many over the past year, Lupus Link Minnesota, like many new nonprofits, has faced financial challenges. Earlier this summer, our Board of Directors made the difficult decision to address these challenges and moved to become a volunteer organization without paid staff. We are forever indebted to our professional staff, dedicated individuals who played an integral role in the local lupus community for many years and who worked tirelessly this past year.
Since this decision, our Board of Directors has stepped up to provide leadership for the organization, meeting frequently to consider options for the future. As Board Chair, I have stepped in to serve as the President for Lupus Link Minnesota and oversee operations. Your patience as we make this transition is appreciated and we will strive to continue to respond to messages and requests as quickly as possible.
Despite these challenges, we have supported research grants and summer student research fellows, research that is key in the development of more effective treatments for those living with lupus and, ultimately, in finding a cure. Our outreach via our social media channels also continues, providing the lupus community with hope, resources, and information. This summer we shared links to a needs assessment for males living with lupus and featured a publication authored by Dr. Erik Peterson to educate health professionals on lupus. We look forward to sharing information about the experiences of our two summer fellows as they wrap up their work on lupus research with an established faculty researcher.
We will continue to provide updated information as our Board continues to meet and make decisions. In the meantime, we thank all of you for your continued patience and support.
Sincerely – Barbara Schillo, Board Chair, Lupus Link Minnesota