Lupus Colorado Advocates, CEO Inez Robinson and Board Member Linda Garrett, will be on Capitol Hill on Tuesday March 19, 2019 meeting with members of Congress to fight for funding needed for lupus research that can discover safer treatments and a cure.
Please join the lupus community and tell Congress why Fiscal Year 2020 legislation must provide:
1) $41.6 billion budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and
2) $10 million -- double last year's funding -- to continue the recently formed Lupus Research Program operated by the Department of Defense.
Share your support for these two issues with your legislators. Go to https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative and https://www.senate.gov/senators/index.htm. Input your zip code and state to get information to contact your legislators by phone, email, Facebook and Twitter. See below for more information and a sample email.
The lupus community calls on Congress to:
1) Increase NIH budget to $41.6 billion.
Why this Matters:
-Tomorrow’s advances in lupus and other autoimmune diseases depend on today’s investments in research. The Lupus Research Alliance invests in pioneering innovative lupus research by raising funds in the private sector. These investments allow investigators to make breakthroughs and obtain NIH funding to continue their research, which has produced many tangible improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of lupus.
-But lupus-specific funding at NIH has dropped 20% in the past 10 years, and as a result less is being provided to promising research projects.
-We are losing the next generation of great research minds interested in studying lupus. Researchers who aren't able to secure funding for their laboratories will either move on to study other topics or shut down their laboratories entirely.
2) Provide $10 million in Fiscal Year 2020 Defense Appropriations Bill for the Lupus Research Program under the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs operated by the Department of Defense (DoD).
Why this Matters:
-More than 90% of people with the debilitating autoimmune disease lupus are women; African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are especially at risk – populations on the rise in the military.
-The dedicated peer-review research program for lupus will help lead to new treatment options for this devastating chronic disease that affects many active duty military, members of the Reserves, National Guard, dependents, and retired veterans.
-The response to the first grant solicitations has been overwhelmingly positive; 220 grant applications were received, representing an estimated $80 million in requested funding. With a limited budget of $5 million each year, only 13 grants were given in the first year, and no more than 17 are expected to be funded in 2020. That leaves 190 potential lupus research breakthroughs unexplored!
Share your support for these two issues with your legislators. Go to https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative and https://www.senate.gov/senators/index.htm. Input your zip code and state to get information to contact your legislators by phone, email, Facebook and Twitter.
Tips for emails and phone calls:
It's important to personalize your email to get legislators' attention. It's important to identify yourself as a constituent and indicate your relationship and experience with lupus. When contacting by phone, leaving a message is just as effective as speaking with the legislator directly. Again, be sure to identify yourself as a constituent and indicate your relationship and experience with lupus.
Please be sure to customize this email with a personal touch on why this bill is so important to you!
Subject: Support Increased Funding for Lupus Research
Dear Representative __________,
Please support legislation for Fiscal Year 2020 that increases funding to at least $41.6 billion to strengthen biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition, I request that Congress provide $10 million in the FY 2020 Defense Appropriations Bill for the Lupus Research Program operated under the Defense Health Program. I am one of your constituents writing on behalf of [myself/my RELATIONSHIP] and the national lupus community living with this prototypical autoimmune disease. [SUGGEST WRITING 2-3 SENTENCES DESCRIBING THE CHALLENGES YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE FACE LIVING WITH LUPUS, WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOUR EXISTING MEDICATIONS, AND WHY LUPUS RESEARCH IS SO NECESSARY TO DELIVER SAFER, MORE EFFECTIVE TREATMENTS AND ONE DAY A CURE] Patients with lupus rely on the full continuum of biomedical research conducted by NIH which has produced tangible improvements in lupus diagnosis and management. But more work is needed for safer, effective treatments and a cure. The dedicated Lupus Research Program will also help lead to new treatment options for this devastating chronic disease that affects many active duty military, members of the Reserves, National Guard, dependents and retired veterans. With the current limited budget of $5 million each year, only 13 grants were given the first year, and no more than 17 are expected to be funded this year. That leaves 190 potential lupus research breakthroughs unexplored! To foster scientific discoveries that can help fight lupus and other diseases, Lupus Colorado, the Lupus Research Alliance and lupus community call on Congress to provide in fiscal year 2020 $41.6 billion in funding to NIH and $10 million for the Lupus Research Program. Thank you for your support of people with lupus and all chronic illnesses and all you do for your constituents and the people of Colorado.