The Geoff Carr Fellowship – Lupus Ontario

How does your donation help improve the lives of people living with lupus?

100% of the funds we raise are being directed towards the $65,000 Lupus Ontario Geoff Carr Fellowship. This Fellowship is offered annually to a qualified doctor, to work under supervision at an accredited Lupus Clinic in Ontario. The Fellowship also provides the recipient opportunities to conduct research in either adult or paediatric lupus, to gain additional in-depth knowledge of diagnosis and treatment options for the disease, and to provide patient care and education.

Dr. Tal El Tala, Pediatric Rheumatology, Hospital for Sick Children, is the 2021/2022 Geoff Carr Fellow.  The following With the support of Lupus Ontario through the Geoff Carr Lupus Fellowship award, I had the great privilege of learning from the world experts in the field of lupus (Drs. Earl Silverman, Deborah Levy, Linda Hiraki, Andrea Knight) at the Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) with the largest paediatric lupus clinic in North America. They taught me a unique and invaluable skillset in research and clinical care of children and adolescents with lupus. The award also granted me the opportunity to pursue my research interests in mental health and brain inflammation in lupus, specifically cognitive impairment, where by some children and adolescent with lupus have a hard time remembering things or multi-tasking. If left untreated, this can interfere with school performance, future work success and overall well-being. Indeed, the knowledge from this research study will help guide future studies to come up with ways to detect this issue early on and create tailored treatments to improve quality of life. Overall, this award has brought me one step closer to my dream of becoming an independent patient-centred clinician investigator with a special focus in paediatric lupus.

How you can help:

A secure financial on-line donation can be made directly through this fundraising page:

Your past help:

Over the past 16 years, family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues have generously contributed over $251,000.

What is lupus?

Lupus is a serious, complex autoimmune disease that can target any tissue or organ of the body, including skin, muscles, joints, blood and blood vessels, lungs, heart, kidneys and the brain. Lupus is a chronic disease caused by inflammation in one or more parts of the body.  The majority of people diagnosed with lupus are women in the prime years of their lives – between the ages of 15 and 45 years. Especially impacted are communities which include women of African, Caribbean, Asian and Aboriginal descent.

In an autoimmune disorder like lupus, the immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign substances and the body’s own cells and tissues. The immune system then makes antibodies directed against the body. These antibodies — called “auto-antibodies” (auto means ‘self’) — cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.

No one knows for sure what causes Lupus. Lupus is not contagious and is not related to AIDS or cancer. It belongs in the family of diseases which include rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, and scleroderma.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for lupus and treatment can only hope to make the patient comfortable at best. It is for this reason early detection is so important.