Julian Lennon and James Scott Cook Raise Awareness and Funds for Lupus Research
Proceeds from the song, “LUCY,” will be donated to the Lupus Foundation of America and the St. Thomas Lupus Trust
WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Julian Lennon, son of the legendary John Lennon, and James Scott Cook announced today that they will donate a portion of the proceeds from their song, “LUCY,” to fund research on the disease lupus. The song was created to honor Cook’s 92-year-old grandmother, Lucy Cook, who has been living with lupus for years and Lucy Vodden, a childhood friend of Lennon’s who recently passed away at the age of 46 after a long battle with lupus. Vodden was also the subject of a drawing that Julian created which inspired his father to write the memorable Beatles hit song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Proceeds donated from the song, “LUCY,” will be shared equally by the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. (LFA), and the St. Thomas Lupus Trust in London.
Sandra C. Raymond, LFA President and CEO, issued the following statement:
“We thank Julian Lennon and James Scott Cook for their generous support, which will not only help fund lupus research, but will also go a long way to help raise awareness and draw international attention to this perilous disease. All proceeds from the song will be restricted for use in LFA’s National Lupus Research Program, Bringing Down the Barriers, which directs grants to lupus researchers in academic medical centers throughout the United States for research on the causes and epidemiology of lupus, pediatric lupus, lupus kidney disease, cardiovascular disease in lupus, adult stem cell transplantation, novel approaches to the development of new treatments, among other areas.
“We applaud Julian and James for calling attention to the urgent need for lupus research. It has been more than 50 years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new treatment for lupus. In fact, to date there has never been a drug approved specifically for lupus, since the disease was discovered more than a century ago. Physicians who treat people with lupus often must rely on medications that have toxic side effects; some side effects are worse than the disease itself. For people with lupus, finding less toxic therapies is vital to not just their quality of life, but for many, their survival.
“Lucy Vodden and Lucy Cook represent people with lupus around the world who are either living with lupus, or have succumbed to the disease, demonstrating the varied and sometimes devastating impact that lupus can have on individuals and their families. This life altering disease typically strikes young women in their childbearing years, yet a public opinion survey demonstrated that 80 percent of women know little or nothing about the disease.
“Our hope is that the efforts of Julian and James will inspire others, and serve as a catalyst for the public to join us in working to change the future for the millions of people around the world like Lucy. We encourage people to pay tribute to both of these women and all those living with lupus by downloading the song ‘LUCY’ through iTunes beginning December 15, 2009.”
Lupus is an acute and chronic, autoimmune disease in which the immune system is unbalanced, causing inflammation and tissue damage to virtually any organ in the body. Its health effects include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, miscarriages, and organ failure. Ninety percent of the people with lupus are women, and it is two to three times more common among African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, and Asians. Lupus is unpredictable and potentially fatal, yet at present no satisfactory treatment or cure exists.
About the LFA
The LFA is the foremost national nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus, and providing support, services, and hope to all people affected by lupus. Founded in 1977, the LFA has a nationwide network of nearly 300 chapters and support groups and operates programs of research, education, and advocacy. For more information about lupus, or to make a donation to support lupus research, visit www.lupus.org.
SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America