LFA's Capitol Conversation - 21st Century Cures Act, dinner, drinks, and decisions to cure lupus!

I had the honor of accompanying my friend to the LFA's National Advocacy Awards Dinner last week. We had a wonderful time! It was a great night for lupus advocacy, and the event featured a refreshing panel discussion with leaders from Congress, Federal Agencies, Industry, and Research - dedicated, passionate high-level people who were there solely to discuss the need to accelerate cures for lupus and other chronic disease. You want to talk about inspiring!? 

These folks couldn't say enough about the crisis ongoing in the land of Lupus - in research, development, and delivery. The featured panelists were as follows: 

The Honorable Fred Upton, U.S. House of Representatives, Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Congressman Upton is responsible for launching the 21st Century Cures initiative, a multi-year effort to bring researchers, industry, and patients together to speed up the discovery, development and delivery of life-saving cures. Not only that, but Congressman Upton has a very personal connection to lupus. His wife Amey has lupus, and his sister-in-law died of complications from lupus. He is as dedicated as they come - and it was an honor to bump into him at the reception. 

Francis Collins, MD, PHD, Director of the National Institutes of Health.

 Dr. Collins was so fired up about the current possibilities in the medical cures arena, you could hear the enthusiasm and passion in his voice when he spoke. He was great - just the kind of guy you want in charge of biomedical research to cure diseases like lupus! 

John J. Castellani
President & Chief Executive Offices
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

Mary Woolley, President & Chief Executive Officer, Research!America

And one of my favorite lupologists - Dr
Susan Manzi, MD, MPH, Chair, Department of Medicine, Allegheny Health Network

The panelists, along with moderator Chuck Todd, of Meet the Press

Here we are with our new friends Shawnda and her husband. Shawnda actually advocated that very day on Capitol Hill. She said most of the representatives she met with were very receptive to what she had to say about lupus, and to the 21st Century Cures Act. Here's hoping the legislation gets passed! 

You can check out video highlights from the event here, and stay tuned for Monday's "Pillbag pictoral" of my evening out. My pillfold had to go with me (I had to take my iron pill with dinner that night), but I didn't want to sacrifice style. Enter the chic, animal print Zoe pillfold. See you back here on Monday!


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