Understanding Lupus: The Great Imitator

When people refer to having Lupus, they are frequently speaking of “Systemic Lupus Erythematosus” (SLE).  More than 70% of those diagnosed with Lupus have SLE; Cutaneous Lupus (CLE) is known to affect the skin and could eventually transition to SLE.  Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any organ in the body. Lupus, often referred to as “the great imitator,” can mimic the symptoms of other diseases, making it difficult to diagnose. Most of the time, people don’t even know they’re living with it. However, one common symptom noted is a bright red rash on the face that runs from the bridge of the nose, under the eyes, and across the cheeks. Due to its resemblance to a butterfly, it’s known as a butterfly rash. The origination of its name is derived from the ancient Greek word for red or ‘erythroid.’

Lupus symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening, so it’s important to know the signs. Symptoms include painful or swollen joints, sores in the mouth or on the skin that do not heal, fever, rashes, sensitivity to the sun, fatigue, and sudden, unexplained hair loss.

Lupus affects people of all ages, races, and ethnicities, most commonly among African-Americans, and women of childbearing age.

The Lupus Survivor Story: Nicole Whitbeck-Dohnal

One such warrior is Nicole Whitbeck-Dohnal, Senior Vice President of Operations at MARS Solutions Group. At the age of twenty-seven, Nicole was misdiagnosed with two different types of cancer. After visiting twelve different doctors and specialists and spending sixteen months letting her body slowly decline, she was finally diagnosed correctly with Lupus.

Over the years since her initial diagnosis, Nicole has spent countless hours in the hospital receiving infusions, medical intervention, and visits to the doctor. Despite the challenges, she is a proud mother of two and has been able to continue with her career, not just surviving but thriving.

Nicole’s story is not unusual. Most people with Lupus have similar stories of misdiagnosis and struggle before they receive the correct diagnosis and treatment. This is why raising awareness about Lupus and its symptoms is so crucial.

Drive Out Lupus: A Charitable Initiative

To support the fight against Lupus, MARS Solutions Group and Ontech Systems, Inc are partnering to Drive Out Lupus! Funds raised by this charitable event will directly support The Lupus Foundation of America, Wisconsin Chapter. The collaboration on this charity event is in-part, due to MARS Senior VP of Operations Nicole Whitbeck-Dohnal and Mark Dohnal, President and Partner of Ontech Systems, Inc. Their struggle with Lupus has brought light to this disease that affects nearly 1.5 million Americans.

The Importance of this Charitable Event

By providing support and funding, we demonstrate our solidarity with the Lupus community, conveying that they are not alone in their battle. Our collective assistance offers them hope for a brighter future and inspires them to persevere. The allocation of funding is of utmost importance as it enables us to advance critical research initiatives and provides much-needed financial aid to families in dire circumstances.

While there is no cure for Lupus, many people with the disease can manage their symptoms with proper treatment and lead a full, happy life. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to preventing long-term consequences and managing symptoms.

Join us in our fight against Lupus. Together, we can drive out Lupus and support those battling this disease. Register for the event here – https://marssg.co/drive-out-lupus/



What is Lupus – Lupus Foundation of America

Lupus Awareness, Education, and Management Activities – CDC

Lupus Awareness | CDC

Lupus Awareness Month: Supporting The Awareness, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Lupus

Lupus Awareness Month – National Today