Lauren with her parents, Grant and Adrienne Currie
By Ed Becker
One of the most important vasculitis awareness and advocacy organizations in Scotland and throughout the United Kingdom is the Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation (LCTF).
Grant and Adrienne Currie established the LCTF in memory of their daughter, Lauren, who passed away at the age of 15 from GPA/ Wegener’s in October 2010. The organization’s name also reflects Lauren’s love of the popular Twilight book series.
Grant and Adrienne were devastated by the loss of their daughter, but it also left them determined to build a lasting legacy to Lauren. The LCTF raises vital awareness of vasculitis and provides a wide range of services including support groups, respite facilities, helplines, guidance booklets and public awareness events.
The LCTF is the country’s only dedicated vasculitis registered charity committed to investing and funding vasculitis research and support.
Since 2010, the LCTF has raised over £650,000 to fund patient support, awareness campaigning, and medical research.
Among their projects is a three-year study with the University of Aberdeen “Live Cell Imaging to Study the Evolution and Pathophysiology of Autoimmune Disease.”
According to Julie McKissock, LCTF Events & Fundraising Manager, holding regular support meetings is a large part of their commitment to bring patients together for support.
“These are informal meetings where patients will hear guidance talks on a wide variety of topics that affect patients in their daily lives,” says McKissock. “It’s an opportunity for patients to come together which is so important when dealing with a rare disease like vasculitis.
“Twice a year we also hold “The Wellbeing Event” here in Scotland. The event provides 24-hour accommodation and catering for patients and caregivers and a program of well-being activities including light exercise. At the end of the first day there is social time for patients and carers to meet others in a relaxed and informal setting.”
LCTF’s flagship event is the Black and Red Ball which has grown from 80 guests when it started in 2011, to more than 250 attendees in 2018. The annual gala features live entertainment, food, and dancing all designed to support the LCTF’s mission.