The State Senate Declares May as Lupus Awareness Month

(Albany, NY)- Yesterday the New York State Senate unanimously passed a Resolution proclaiming May 2011 as Lupus Awareness Month in the State of New York. The Senate Resolution was sponsored by Senator Joseph A. Griffo and co-sponsored by Senator Jose M. Serrano. The Resolution also passed the New York State Assembly where it was sponsored by Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson.Lupus is a chronic disease that affects the immune system, causing it to become hyperactive and attack normal tissue. Of those affected with the illness, roughly 90 percent are women. Lupus is most prevalent among African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asians."Our communities already suffer from major disparities in healthcare access and treatment," said Senator Serrano. "The 28th Senate District has some of the highest percentages of people diagnosed with Lupus, and we must do everything we can to help New Yorkers understand the importance of being tested and treated for this illness. For those already living with Lupus, this month will also serve to raise awareness of the services available. I'd like to thank my Assemblywoman, Vanessa Gibson, for sponsoring this resolution in the Assembly, and working tirelessly on behalf of lupus patients in our district."Senator Serrano is the co-sponsor of a Senate bill (S5114) , sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon and Assemblymember Gibson, that provides for taxpayer gifts for lupus education and prevention, and establishes a lupus education and prevention fund and outreach program. He is also co-sponsoring legislation (S5114), sponsored by Senator Diane Savino and Assemblymember Gibson, that creates an education and outreach program for lupus, and provides for an advisory council consisting of representatives of people with lupus and their families and health care providers who specialize in treating the illness.                                                                                      ###