Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease that can impact virtually any organ of the body – skin, kidneys, brain, heart, eyes, and others – with profound life altering and life limiting consequences.
Little is known about the disease as each patient presents with a differing array of symptoms. Ninety percent of patients are female, in the prime years of their life.
Lupus Ontario is the largest provincial organization in Canada geared toward providing support, awareness, and education of lupus to patients, caregivers, and health practitioners alike. Since its inception in 1978 Lupus Ontario has been instrumental in development of dedicated Lupus Clinics in Ontario and is an ardent supporter of innovative research.
In 1987 armed with determination to improve the lives of those living with lupus, the founders of Lupus Ontario including Honey Agar and Linda Ethier, and a team of devoted volunteers, set out to raise $1M to create and launch a program that would be a world first – the Lupus Databank Research Program at Toronto Western Hospital. The Lupus Databank forms the foundation of lupus research through to the present day. This project was spearheaded by the globally renowned Dr. Murray Urowitz who continues to conduct research. The Lupus Ontario commitment to ground-breaking research thrives today in exciting areas including the newly formed Lupus Ontario Anne Matheson Biobank, headed by Dr. Konstantinos Tselios in the Boris Clinic, McMaster Health Sciences in Hamilton. and through the Dr. Murray Urowitz Chair in Lupus Research at the University of Toronto.
Since its creation in 1990, the Geoff Carr Fellowship provided by Lupus Ontario has trained more than 30 Rheumatologists worldwide to specialize in lupus and has motivated each recipient to delve into lupus-based research. The program has funded specialized training through grants totalling more than $2M.
As the Databank, Biobank, the Dr. Murray Urowitz Chair in Lupus Research and the Geoff Carr Fellows continue to form the bedrock of lupus research initiatives, Lupus Ontario has become involved in advocacy efforts to bring light to this insidious, complicated disease. These efforts resulted in the 2021 proclamation by the Government of Ontario proclaiming May 10th as Lupus Awareness Day in the province – the same date recognized globally as World Lupus Day. With awareness dedicated to this single day, and to the month of May as a whole, Lupus Ontario and their partners strive to continue to bring hope to those living with, caring for and treating the disease; shedding light on the causes of lupus and ultimately finding a cure.
Lupus Ontario’s mission is to provide vital support, education, awareness, advocacy and research through the fundraising efforts of our staff and volunteer community to help those living with lupus live longer, healthier and better lives. The astonishing impacts Lupus Ontario has been able to catalyze are direct results of dedicated partners, volunteers, and physicians. A true volunteer-patient-based organization, our goal has remained constant since 1978: Life Without Lupus.
Partner with us. Volunteer with us. Be part of the cure.