Happy Fifth Day of Christmas. Today’s gift goes to the Lupus Foundation of America.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease with a wide variety of symptoms and severities. You can be stable with low-grade aches for years, or it can be super debilitating, or (most common) you can be mostly fine and then get flares where it gets really bad. It’s a fairly common disease—about 1.5 million Americans are estimated to have it—but it remains not very well understood by people who aren’t affected or in medicine and, like many autoimmune diseases, there’s a lot of mystery around its causes and how it operates. The difficulty in diagnosing lupus contributed to “It’s never lupus” being a running joke on House—that and the absence of a miracle cure making the desired dramatic end of the episode unavailable.

Through funding programs of research, education, support, and advocacy, the Lupus Foundation aims to improve both of those problems: making the disease more widely known, and working toward a cure or sustainable treatment. Their approach is broad, including both legislative work and direct support of research and resource creation.

In addition to being the fifth day of Christmas, today also happens to be the birthday of a very dear friend of mine who has lupus. She’s one of the brightest, most badass people I know. I am happy to be able to offer today’s gift in her honor.