You wouldn’t know it looking at her but Cary Zwolski is fighting Lupus every day of her life. Some days are good and some are bad and there’s no way to know what kind of day tomorrow will be. It’s an unpredictable and hidden disease which makes it especially challenging for patients like her and their families to deal with. On a sunny afternoon a couple weeks ago, Zwolski was the picture of energy and enthusiasm as we talked over lunch and lemonade. It was shocking to hear her talk about the fact that she had any disease, let alone one so debilitating.
One of the kickers with Lupus is the insomnia that has become a regular part of Zwolski’s life. When she’s up at 3 a.m. she can be productive and go to work without leaving home. Zwolski answers questions that come in from the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota Web site. “I’ve calmed newly diagnosed Lupus patients from many places, The West Indies, South Africa and New Zealand. They are up when I’m up in the middle of the night. It’s great to work from home.” She goes on to say that the site brings in questions from all over the world because ” we have one of the best Lupus Web sites out there right now.”
At www.lupusmn.org, an average of 300 users a day get accurate, up-to-the-minute information on the fight against their disease. With the help of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), The Lupus Foundation of Minnesota is reaching out to Lupus patients and their families all over the world.
Not only is the Web site helping patients but it makes a big difference in the day-to-day life of a small non-profit like the Lupus Foundation. According to Judi Deming, Foundation President, ” The Web site is an essential part of our communications plan as we distribute the most current research and information to patients and their families while saving postage, printing and staff costs.”
For its work to develop the web-site as well as their donation of staff power to provide an in-depth technology analysis, CSC’s MN office was awarded the Corporation of the Year Award by The Lupus Foundation of MN. CSC helps clients in industry and government use information technology to achieve strategic and operational objectives.
The Foundation also appointed Randy Spiess, CSC Senior Partner and Manager of CSC’s Midwest Public Sector and Service Industries Practice, to the Lupus Foundation’s board of directors. Spiess says, “Creating a Web site for the Lupus Foundation was a wonderful way for us to live our corporate values. Everyone on the team enjoyed the process of developing the site and learned a lot about the fight against Lupus as they did it.”
The Lupus Foundation of Minnesota serves all individuals with Lupus, their families, their friends, the medical community and the public, through educational programs, support services, and research funding.
What you’ll find at www.lupusmn.org
This area will be dedicated to personal stories provided by people who want to share their experiences in living with lupus. We update this page regularly with new stories and keep the past stories for you to reference later. In addition to the personal stories of individuals coping with lupus, we have “Ask the Psychologist” and a selection of articles specifically related to coping issues.
How to participate in the Horizon Program
The Lupus Foundation of Minnesota established the Horizon Program in 1998 to assist individuals with lupus who have needs not covered by insurance plans or other sources of assistance. This program is intended to offer hope and encouragement to others by providing limited financial assistance.
Ask the Psychologist
Dr. Ron Wutchiett is a licensed psychologist in private practice for the last sixteen years. He works primarily with people who live with chronic medical conditions. In the “Ask The Psychologist” area, you can e-mail your question to Dr. Wutchiett and he will answer confidentially.