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The 2017 Make Your Mark Program

PJ Day

Join Iris Zink and the Rheumatology Nurses Society and support the mission of the Lupus Foundation of America!

Iris Zink, president of the Rheumatology Nurses Society (RNS), has worked with lupus patients for 17 years and wanted to do something special for them in honor of Lupus Awareness Month. She decided to host a PJ Day fundraiser at her clinic where all staff donates $20 in order to wear their PJs to work. When other members at the RNS Society heard about what her clinic was doing they wanted to join in and create a friendly competition between clinics with all funds going toward lupus research.

“I have a lot of very sick patients and I worry about them all the time,” said Iris. “They are so grateful and wonderful that I wanted to do something in honor of them.”

PJ Day was inspired by one of Iris’ patients, Rebecca Lehotzky. In 1999, Rebecca went to see her doctor about a rash that wouldn’t go away. She was referred to a dermatologist who quickly diagnosed her as having lupus.

“When I was originally diagnosed I was shocked and terrified – my mother had died two years prior to my diagnosis from lupus complications,” Rebecca Lehotzky. “When my doctor started asking me questions about my symptoms it all began to make sense – I had these symptoms for years, but I never thought they were connected to each other or a sign of something more.”

She began seeing Iris 14 years ago and has been a patient ever since. Iris found that as with many patients, Rebecca would struggle to fully explain how she was feeling and the extent of her exhaustion. Rebecca began referencing how many PJ days she was having per week to help Iris understand how she was feeling and use that as a way to determine the best treatment. That method caught on and Iris began asking her other patients about their PJ days as well.

You can support the RNS Society by making a donation, or you can create your PJ Day! Thank you for supporting us and all people impacted by lupus.

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