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A Mom's Hope for a Cure: Raising Lupus Awareness in the Community

May 08, 2022
Elizabeth SantaCruz and her daughter Miah

May is Lupus Awareness Month. The Town of Harrison did a ribbon cutting on Friday, May 6, 2022, to bring awareness to Lupus, a disease that can strike young children, teenagers and adults. Many times it takes physicians years to diagnose individuals with Lupus. Many persons are unaware of the symptoms and thus do not realize they have Lupus. Kearny resident, Elizabeth SantaCruz, has sought to increase awareness of Lupus by holding events to educate the public. The Lupus Awareness Ribbon Cutting event is one of those events. Elizabeth has also done ribbon cuttings in neighboring East Newark and Kearny.

In February 2016, Elizabeth SantaCruz's 9 year old daughter, Miah, was diagnosed with lupus after two years of visiting several doctors who were unable to determine what was wrong or even connect her symptoms to the disease.

The SantaCruz Family

"Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body," said SantaCruz. "Symptoms vary from person to person and range from mild to severe." According to the Lupus Foundation of America, Lupus symptoms can include fatigue, fever, joint pain, rash, and problems with the kidneys, heart, lungs, and brain. Because Lupus symptoms can mimic other illnesses, it can be difficult to diagnose.

"We need to bring awareness to Lupus and increase visibility so that people will know about the disease and be more understanding," said SantaCruz. "If we can create a culture of understanding and support, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by Lupus." SantaCruz is hopeful that with increased awareness, more research will be done and new treatments and ultimately a cure can be found. "As a mom, I am passionate about improving lupus awareness in the community," said SantaCruz. "Raising awareness and visibility are essential to creating a culture of understanding and support. I truly believe that we can make a difference as a community and we can impact future generations."

Elizabeth SantaCruz has a Facebook Page which contains information in English and Spanish. She also has Instagram and Twitter presence. For more information about Lupus, please visit the Lupus Foundation of America website at

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