In 2013, Road Scholar Transport rolled out a truck dedicated to Lupus awareness. Our Lupus truck was created in memory of Tanitha Kulsiri, who passed away from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in 2003 at the age of 22. Working with Tanitha’s mother, Nuj Fungladda, and the Tanitha Kulsiri Memorial FoundationRoad Scholar got to work designing a new truck.
When Tanitha passed away, Ms. Fungladda honored her by creating a book (Awkward Grace) of Tanitha’s compiled works during her last 10 years. She sent the book to Bridget Barrett, Road Scholar’s awareness truck designer, for inspiration. One of the narrative poems she came across contained a drawing (a sketch that Tanitha created in high school) which caught her eye. Loving the picture, Bridget decided it would be perfect for Road Scholar’s new awareness truck. So she cleaned up the image and added color, giving it brunette hair, the color of the woman’s hair in the poem.
Bridget then added the truck’s purpose to LIVE BEYOND LUPUS and incorporated TKMF’s website and logo (two flying pigs kissing, another artwork of Tanitha’s).
“As a mom, I could not accept the fact that I lost her for no good reason,” said Ms. Fungladda. “There has to be a reason for this to happen and something good needs to come out of this terrible loss. Everyone at the foundation and her friends would like to express our deepest gratitude for all the support that Road Scholar has given us. ”
Lupus is a “chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body including the skin, joints, and / or organs.” (4) There are four types:
* Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
This is the most common form and ranges from mild to severe. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus can affect nearly every tissue and organ system. (5)
* Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus
-Two-thirds of people with lupus will have cutaneous lupus erythematosus, which affects the skin and can cause rashes or sores on the “face, neck, or scalp or in the mouth or nose. Hair loss and changes in the pigment, or color, of the skin are also symptoms of cutaneous lupus. ” 10% of individuals with this type develop systemic lupus. (6)
* Drug-induced Lupus Erythematosus
-This type rarely affects the major organs, however, has many similar symptoms as systemic lupus. Caused by certain prescription drugs which include hydralazine, procainamide, and isoniazid, this form is more common in men. Once these medications are stopped, symptoms usually cease within 6 months. (5)
* Neonatal Lupus
-Rare and not considered “a true form of lupus. ” Symptoms generally disappear after 6 months. Affects infants of women who have lupus and is caused by antibodies from the mother acting upon the infant in the womb. (7)
-Nearly 1.5 million Americans have Lupus.
-Over 16,000 new cases are reported each year in the US (8)
-90% of individuals with lupus are women between 15 and 44 years old. (8)
-20% of people with lupus have a parent or sibling with it. (8)
-While most people with lupus live a normal life span, 10-15% pass away prematurely due to complications. (8)
For more information on lupus visit http://www.lupus.org/.
Check out all of the great causes Road Scholar Transport is spreading awareness for here including our newest trailer to End Polio Now!