A father losing his daughter led to the creation of the Lupus Y Latinos Foundation, which helps support, educate and fight Lupus: a chronic autoimmune disease that affects at least 1.5 million Americans.Â
The month of May is Lupus Awareness Month and to coincide with this, The Lupus Y Latinos Foundation hosted their third annual fundraiser at El Marinero Grill in West New York. Co-founder and President Armando Hernandez stands by the mission of the foundation, which is to provide education about lupus.
Hernandez lost his daughter, Joamelly R. Arteaga, to lupus shortly after she graduated from college. She was 22 years young.
Lupus patients Graciela Barco and Samantha Sfreddo, were the guest speakers of the evening and they shared their experience living with lupus and their inspiration to keep fighting.
Hudson County Viewâ€™s John Heinis was the MC for the evening, while performers were Andrea Garcia and Maria Rivas.
Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32) presented proclamations to Dr. Michael Guma and Dr. Louise AlbornozÂ for their commitment to the fight against Lupus. Jimenez was also honored with the organization’s Excellence Award.
Before the end of the night, West New York Commissioner Count Wiley donated an additional $500 check to the foundation, while Mayor Felix Roque praised Hernandez for his efforts.
â€œIts really important what Armando is doing,â€ Roque said, â€œbringing awareness and educating our community.â€