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 Lupus Ontario Geoff Carr Fellowship. This $65,000 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. Laura Whittall Garcia the 2019/2020 Geoff Carr Fellow.  The following are her words regarding the value and impact of the Fellowship:

 During the last 6 months I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the TWH (Toronto Western Hospital) Lupus Clinic, where I have worked with and leaned from extraordinary mentors, such as Dr. Murray Urowitz, Dr. Dafna Gladman and Dr. Zahi Touma. They have helped me to improve my clinical skills and have supported me in the acquisition of research knowledge and experience. Clinical research is fundamental in medicine, because it plays a primary role in improving the quality of life in patients  with Lupus. My ultimate goal is to develop an academic research program back home, to help the most vulnerable patients and significantly improve the overall quality of care we can provide. I am sure that from this once in a lifetime opportunity, I will gather the bases and fundamentals of high-quality patient-centered care and clinical research. I am extremely thankful for the Geoff Carr Lupus fellowship and Lupus Ontario, because without their support, it would not have been possible to endure such a milestone in my life.

How you can help

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

https://sna.etapestry.com/fundraiser/LupusOntario/geoffcarr2020/individual.do?participationRef=12744.0.146139165

Your past help:

Over the past 14 years, family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues have generously contributed over $235,000.

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. Especially impacted are Canadian 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.