LupusChick — NY Based Nonprofit
In 2014, Marisa Zeppieri wanted to add a nonprofit segment to LupusChick in order to help patients who needed additional support in their fight against the disease. And so, a nonprofit arm was added to the organization. LupusChick is committed to raising awareness on Lupus and providing tangible solutions for patients and their families. Since that time, money has been raised and directly used to help patients.
Some of the highlights include:
- Working with Mayor Lovely Warren to have a proclamation signed officially designating May as Lupus Awareness Month in Rochester, NY.
- Working with Monroe Country legislation to sign a proclamation officially designating May as Lupus Awareness Month in Monroe County, Western NY.
- Working with Greece, NY, legislation officials to have a proclamation signed officially designating May as Lupus Awareness Month in Greece.
- Partnering with multiple health events in the Western NY area, and manning an information table in order to provide information and support to those in the area living with Lupus.
About our Life Enrichment Fund for Patients
Helping patients finance medication and medical care is important to LupusChick. In addition, Marisa has a heart for education and helping patients find ways to afford trade or certification programs that will allow them to find employment (suitable with their health conditions).
In 2015, LupusChick kicked off its first ever Life Enrichment Stipend Fund. After raising $2,500 dollars, we opened the essay contest up in June of 2015 to any Lupus patient attending college, trade school or certification course. Over 100 applicants sent in their essay. Five incredible winners were chosen, and each was awarded $500 dollars to use towards their schooling, living expenses, supplies, etc.
These winners were:
- Rachel Block of Hebron (IL) studying Accounting at Roosevelt University.
- Katrina Bosma of Mead (WA) studying Business Marketing at Whitworth University.
- Josalyn Ceroalo of Provo (UT) studying Medical Laboratory Science at Brigham Young University.
- Brittany Lopez of Manchester (NH) studying Sign Language at University of New Hampshire.
- Yvonne Freeman of Pine Bluff (AR) studying Nursing at Southeast Arkansas College.
Dr. Maggie Cadet, Director of Rheumatology at New York Hospital Queens/New York Presbyterian Healthcare System and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Cornell University, and board member for LupusChick shares, “By establishing a fund that honors patients living with Lupus, LupusChick helps support them as they try to live their lives and pursue their dreams. It also encourages others to acknowledge the struggles that these patients face everyday.”
Donate to Our Life Enrichment Program
You can donate any amount to the Life Enrichment Fund, and it will go directly to a patient in need to help with their education. Additionally, you can donate the cost of one of LupusChick’s Life Enrichment Courses—the Lupus Clarity Session or Juicing Basics 101—and a LupusChick will get the course they need most for free to help enrich their life.
LupusChick Board of Directors
At LupusChick, we are grateful for our talented and passionate board of directors. The men and women on our board are a collection of innovative and spirited individuals who are skilled in the areas of rheumatology, functional medicine, chiropractic medicine, marketing, fundraising and patient advocacy.
Michael Caruana, President
Michael is a military veteran with a heart for Lupus patients. An entrepreneur, he has spent the majority of his life working in sales and owning his own businesses in South Florida.
Dr. Maggie Cadet, Rheumatologist
Dr. Magdalena (Maggie) Cadet is a board certified rheumatologist in NYC as well as an assistant professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital and her rheumatology fellowship at the renowned NYU/Hospital for Joint Diseases. Her interests have always focused on women’s health issues, issues in arthritis and autoimmune diseases like lupus, sports medicine, and motivating others to living a healthier lifestyle. As a former competitive figure skater, former ballet dancer, pianist and current runner, Dr. Maggie understands the importance of keeping one’s joints, muscles, bones and immune system healthy in order to maintain an active lifestyle and avoid serious injuries.
Her continuous clinical work, advocacy, community outreach, national education and research in the field of arthritis and autoimmune diseases has resulted in her being given the 2010 Leader Award by the Arthritis Foundation and she is a 2016 Castle Connolly Top Doctor. For her knowledge in the area of sports medicine and autoimmune diseases, Dr. Maggie has also been featured in Essence, Prevention, The Ultimate Health Guide’ and online sites such as Lifescript and Everyday health. Her experiences as a rheumatologist were also captured in the book Lupus: Real life, Real patients, Real Talk. She is a mother, an accomplished speaker and writer, athlete and yoga/fitness enthusiast. She will be dedicating this new chapter of her career to helping all individuals, especially patients living with lupus and musculoskeletal diseases to live their best possible physical, spiritual and emotional life through her upcoming website.
Stay tuned to her updated version of www.maggiecadetmd.com coming soon.
Dr. Jacob Loturco, Chiropractor
Dr. Loturco grew up in Hilton, NY, and was a 2003 graduate of Hilton Central High School where he participated in the Hilton Cadets Baseball program and was an Academic All-American. In 2003, he attended Genesee Community College and received honors on the Dean’s List for outstanding achievement as a scholar athlete. Dr. Loturco then enrolled in the pre-chiropractic program at MCC and transferred to SUNY Brockport and enrolled in the exercise physiology program where he was nominated for Student of the Year, and eventually earned a B.S. in exercise physiology.
While attending SUNY Brockport, he took up power lifting and earned a National certification in Personal Training which is still maintained today. Upon graduation, he attended New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, and earned a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree. Since this time, he has completed additional coursework in a variety of different therapy methods and is a certified kinesio tape provider, as well as a Metagenics nutraceuticals provider. He believes very strongly that helping people to make better healthy lifestyle choices is the most influential and positive way to help improve a patient’s quality of life. He also believes in the proper use of evidence-based clinically sound chiropractic care as a means to improve patient outcomes and help see to it that the community stays injury free and healthy as can be!
Iliana Garcia, Patient Initiatives
Iliana is a Rochester native and graduated from the University of Rochester in 2012 with a Bachelors in English and minors in Legal Studies and Theatre. She’s done substantial work in the Communications field including publishing, PR, marketing, and event planning. Now focusing on her interests in health & wellness, she is currently pursuing her Nutrition Diploma from the Shaw Academy, her C.N.C. through the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. and her Masters (M.S.) in Mental Health Counseling at UR’s Warner School of Education & Human Development. Her hope is to someday combine all of her interests in a holistic practice, having a positive impact on her community. In her spare time, she enjoys experiencing all forms of art, crossfit, and getting involved in local initiatives.
Christine Elliott, Patient Advocacy
Christine is a business owner in New York who has a passion for patient advocacy. She helps lead and design campaigns for LupusChick involving fundraising, monthly themes, patient advocacy events, etc. She has over 20 years of experience as a caregiver and, as someone who deals with her own autoimmune illnesses, has a heart for those who are living daily with an incurable illness.
Justyna Consaul, Health Educator, Patient Advocacy