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Tifton goes purple in honor of Lupus Awareness

Video from WALB
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 5:50 PM EDT
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - May is Lupus Awareness Month. This is why the Friendly City is going purple by putting bows around the town.

This is the 10th year in a row that purple has taken over the City of Tifton.

Lupus Awareness Month kicked off in Tift County on May 1.
Lupus Awareness Month kicked off in Tift County on May 1.(WALB)

Since May started, Tifton’s first-ever Lupus Awareness Walk was hosted and a proclamation was signed by the City of Tifton declaring May as Lupus Awareness Month. But that’s just the beginning of a month-long list of events dedicated to educating the community about the autoimmune disease.

Pat Mckinnon, Lupus awareness advocate, also has a goal to sell and distribute 300 purple bows until the end of the month with the intention to paint Tifton purple.

Some businesses in downtown Tifton have put up the purple bows in support of Lupus Awareness...
Some businesses in downtown Tifton have put up the purple bows in support of Lupus Awareness Month.(WALB)

“Awareness is key to finding the cure. We want to make Lupus very visible in our community in South Georgia,” she said.

In addition to the purple bows, Mckinnon plans to give 10 Lupus survivors a big gift basket and hopes to inspire those impacted by letting them know it’s okay to be heard.

“There’s over 2.1 million people who have Lupus but it’s very prominent and there’s a lot of people who won’t even speak up that they have Lupus,” she said.

Pat Mckinnon, Lupus awareness advocate,   is happy to see the communities support.
Pat Mckinnon, Lupus awareness advocate, is happy to see the communities support.(WALB)

Christie Leger is a Lupus survivor who has been living with the disease for 22 years.

“It’s hard. And I feel like Lupus has taken a lot away from me and my family,” she said.

Christi Leger, a Lupus survivor, encourages the community to learn about Lupus.
Christi Leger, a Lupus survivor, encourages the community to learn about Lupus.(WALB)

Leger added it’s important for the community to be educated about Lupus so more support can go towards not only those impacted but towards finding a cure.

“People do not know what we go through, and a lot of people do not know Lupus. They don’t know what it is, they don’t know what to do and so we’re going to paint the town because we want everybody to know we might not look sick, but we are sick. And so, we’re going to put up our Ls.”

May 10 is World Lupus Day where anyone can wear purple in support of the awareness month.

Mckinnon also said anyone can wear purple every Friday and on May 27, which is Tift County Goes Purple Day.

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