Health & WellnessLifestyles

Painting with a purpose

Art brunch raises funds for lupus awareness




All for a worthy cause.

An afternoon encompassing painting, sipping and socializing was one of the best ways to conclude Lupus Awareness Month while raising funds for lupus awareness.

Art lovers and supporters of Lupus 242 came together to paint with a purpose – to raise funds for lupus awareness. Their canvas, a custom piece of a butterfly – the official symbol for lupus awareness – emerging from a flower for guests to paint in vivid hues of purple and orange.

Organized by attorney and avid art collector Miranda Adderley, the event was designed to allow Bahamian artists to share their talents while giving back at the same time.

Visual artists Tayler Rolle and Laneir Curtis collaborated to create the piece.

“The artists were pleased to design their own version of the butterfly which represents lupus and the butterfly journey that a lot of lupus patients and their families go through,” said Adderley. “This event gave both Tayler and Laneir an opportunity to showcase their work to a different audience and to use their art as a way to raise awareness and support the great work being done by Lupus 242.”

Shonalee Johnson, Lupus 242 vice president, thanked everyone who contributed to the event’s success.

“This art brunch was fun, creative and inspiring for all who attended. Special thanks to Miranda for organizing this event and for her consistent support of our cause. We would also like to thank the artists for being generous with both their time and their talent. It is appreciated.”

Arist Laneir Curtis instructs participants during Lupus 242’s Paint ‘n’ Sip fundraiser.

In lupus, something goes wrong with the immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria and germs. Normally, a person’s immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from the invaders. Autoimmune means the immune system cannot tell the difference between the foreign invaders and the body’s healthy tissues, and creates antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. The autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain and damage in various parts of the body.

Who lupus affects

Lupus can affect people of all nationalities, races, ethnicities, genders and ages.

It can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus – a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks – occurs in many, but not all, cases of lupus.

Other common signs and symptoms include fatigue, fever, joint pain, stiffness and swelling, skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure, fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods, shortness of breath, chest pain, dry eyes, headaches, confusion and memory loss.

Some people are born with a tendency toward developing lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs, or even sunlight.

While there’s no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms.

According to, no two cases of lupus are exactly alike. And signs and symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly, may be mild or severe, and may be temporary or permanent. Most people with lupus have mild disease characterized by episodes – called flares – when signs and symptoms get worse for a while, then improve or even disappear completely for a time.

Lupus Awareness Month is observed during May to increase public understanding of the cruel and mysterious disease.

Lupus 242 was launched by the late Shanelle Brennen with a goal to raise the profile of lupus as a condition and establish itself as a support group for people living with the disease in The Bahamas, allowing them to connect with other people battling similar issues and facing similar health challenges.

Brennen, who had lupus, launched the organization with her sister Shonalee Johnson, who does not have lupus, but who supported her sister. Lupus 242 launched in April 2012.

The sisters’ late mother Gwendolyn King also had lupus.

Lupus 242 was originally the idea of Debbie Humes, but she got sick and was unable to pursue the idea of putting the group together.

Lupus 242’s motto is “Breaking the Silence, Supporting the Cure”. It was Brennen’s intent to have regular meetings and provide education.

During its awareness month, Lupus 242 encourages people to put on purple (P.O.P.) for lupus awareness and to show their support.

Lupus 242 focuses on raising awareness and providing education and support to its members. Over the course of the month, the group held a series of events including a POP-UP Run and P.O.P. for Lupus Fridays. The final event was a health talk on Saturday, May 27 at UB with rheumatologists Dr. K. Neil Parker and Dr. Anishka Rolle along with human resource specialist Lashanta Smith who spoke on managing lupus in the workplace.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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