“Can You Hear Me Now?”
There is, hands down, no question as to the ease of finding the target audience for an autoimmune disease such as Lupus.
“Enquiring minds want to know why!!”
I could, in theory, best sum it up as the little boy in that movie, The Sixth Sense, all whisper-like: “I see Lupus people.”
People with chronic conditions yearn to be heard…and seen. As a result, I can list you off a summary that even a general peruse of social media platforms will illustrate:
The majority of Lupus patients are women (9 of 10).
The most common age brackets are between 20 – 40 years old.
Ethnicity plays a factor as African-American women are three times likely than Caucasian women to be afflicted with Lupus.
Income is never an applicable categorization of patients: I have NASA aerospace engineers, teachers and homemakers on my lists and forums.
What is the most common need of the Lupus community as a whole? To be seen and heard. In order to support the conversations requires the effort to keep the conversations going. This can be achieved by commenting and engaging on their Twitter posts, retweeting the links that are important to them and by using visuals, like Instagram, to show that living with lupus has its good, its bad and its fugly. When people feel validated, they can be empowered.
Lupus Interrupted aims to highlight the issues facing those with chronic conditions and, taking the female demographic, writing about topics such as parenting is highly beneficial. Also, having a “Healing Through Art” tab is a forum within which to encourage the self-care so desperately needed by people who otherwise feel like their bodies are failing them. Legs don’t work? Knit. Hands don’t work? Take a nature walk.
One of the most successful Lupus campaigns is the “Lupus Hand Sign.” Patients take a photo of themselves with their hand forming an “L” sign. Simple. Easy. Powerfully obvious awareness.
Connection through common journeys. That is how we are seen and heard.