Dillgin sets up lupus foundation, donates proceeds of EP sales
Reggae artiste Dillgin has established the Dillgin Lupus foundation to cater to the needs of persons living with lupus, as well as to educate the general public and create awareness about the disease.
"As a nation, we need to bring further awareness to the plight of persons living with the disease, I remember how shocked I was when I read about the disease after Elva's death. I have a mother, and female relatives and I found that there is no definite way to avoid getting lupus or to predict whether you will get it," Dillgin said.
Popular comedienne Elva Ruddock died on October 7, 2018 after battling the autoimmune disease, lupus. Miss Universe Jamaica 2014 finalist Zandrea Bailey also died recently from the disease - she had been diagnosed with lupus in 2012.
"By being aware of the disease, you can recognise symptoms quickly and be diagnosed and treated early, which can make a big difference. Lupus is a global health problem that affects people of all nationalities, races, ethnicities, genders and ages. Lupus can affect any part of the body in any way at any time, often with unpredictable and life-changing results. But we can help control its impact, so I am playing my part." he said.
He said that since officially signing the paperwork to establish the foundation in Jamaica late last year, he has instructed his lawyer to also set up a bank account to solicit donations to help persons living with the disease.
"I plan to start off with a US$1,500 donation of my own money and proceeds from the sale of my EP will go towards the foundation," he said.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune rheumatic disease that occurs when the immune system of the body attacks its own cells and tissues. It results in damage to various sections of the body, such as the skin, joints and organs. Doctors are still not sure what definitively causes lupus, but it is believed that genes play a role in its development. The sex hormone oestrogen, being pregnant, an infection, and an overexposure to sun are also possible triggers for the disease.
"There are other female entertainers who I know who have the disease so this is a cause that is close to my heart," he said.
Lupus most commonly first affects young women at the prime of their lives, 20s and 30s, when they may be starting careers or have young families; however, all ages, including children and men, can be affected as well.
Common symptoms of lupus include fatigue (tiredness), rashes on the face and body, hair loss, joint pain or swelling of the legs.
Dillgin has confirmed that he will be doing an official album release party for his 'Money Tree' EP in Jamaica at the Kingston 10 Sports Bar and Grill on February 13th in Kingston. Special guest artiste for the event will be Gyptian. The event will be hosted by IRIE FM disc jockey Elise Kelly.
"I will be performing live with the Million Miles band, plus selectors such as Boom Boom, Harry Hype, Earthlink Sound and DJ Bumpycash will also represent," he said.
The project has been officially released and can be purchased on all major digital platforms.
The lead single, 'Money Tree' is getting a buzz in Jamaica and stateside, popping up on the playlists of a number of ethnic radio stations and getting an advance buzz among street selectors and mixtape deejays.
Last year, Dillgin also performed at several shows in Germany and Sweden, where he generated a lot of interest in his brand of unique dancehall-reggae fusion.