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Elder May Pull Out of Council Race Due to Sister's Illness

Robert Elder puts family first.

Robert J. Elder, 34, told the Niagara Falls Reporter that he may be forced to resign from the race for Niagara Falls City Council due to the sudden illness of his 23-year-old sister, who is battling lupus.

Elder spoke to the Reporter over the weekend from Orlando, Fla., and said that, while his sister has been diagnosed with lupus for some time, “It has flared up and taken a serious turn for the worse.”

Elder said his sister is unmarried and has no children, and he is “responsible for making sure she is properly taken care of.

“I am trying to determine if I can bring her back to Niagara Falls or if it is easier for her to stay here,” Elder said. “But under no circumstances will I leave my little sister unattended. Right now, she is on a breathing machine.”

Lupus is a disease that strikes at the body's immune system making it incapable of differentiating between toxins or other foreign substances that induce an immune response even on healthy tissue. The body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue, resulting in inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs.

There is currently no cure for lupus, although there are a number of new drugs being researched or in clinical trials.

“Right now, I am trying to explore the options,” Elder said. “She can open her eyes and all she can do is blink to say 'yes' or 'no.' I write out to her questions and she answers them by blinking.”

Elder, who lives on University Court, near Niagara University, was born and raised in Niagara Falls. He and his wife have two children, a girl and a boy, ages 11 and 9.

His sister was also raised in Niagara Falls, Elder said, and she moved to Orlando where she became an insurance agent.

Elder said he hoped to make a decision this week concerning his sister and his political plans.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

OCT 08, 2013