Lauren Dunlap has always had a passion for advocacy and helping others. As an individual who is affected by Primary Immunodeficiency Disease (PI), which are due to genetic defects in the immune system that an individual is born with, Lauren spends much of her time volunteering and advocating for patients. After being diagnosed with PI in 2010 and feeling the isolation that often follows such a diagnoses, Lauren began volunteering both locally and nationally by educating patients, caregivers and healthcare providers about PI. Lauren wanted to ease the feeling of isolation for patients and to help patients understand that such a diagnoses does not have to control every aspect of ones life. Lauren plans fundraisers through out the year to help raise awareness about these rare genetic disorders. She also volunteers for the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) as well as CSL Plasma where she educates donors and staff members about the life-saving medications that plasma donations contribute to.
On February 3rd, 2017, Lauren and her immunologist, Dr. Maeve O’Connor, partnered together to start a 501c3 that incorporated ALL types of immune dysregulation disorders. Advocacy & Awareness for Immune Disorders Association (AAIDA) was opened.
Lauren owes much gratitude to Dr. O’Connor for not only her partnership with AAIDA but also supporting her ambitious endeavors over the years. She is forever grateful to Dr. O’Connor for keeping her alive and healthy enough to be able to see all of her (their) undertakings become successful.
A native of York, S.C, Lauren received her Bachelors of Arts Degree from Belmont Abbey College and currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lauren enjoys whitewater rafting, climbing, traveling, spending time on her farm and studying different cultures.
Dr. Maeve O’Connor is a practicing Allergist/Immunologist in Charlotte, North Carolina at Allergy Asthma & Immunology Relief (AAIR). She is Board Certified by both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. Dr. O’Connor is a Fellow of the American College of Asthma Allergy and Immunology, where she previously served on the Board of Regents and as Secretary of the House of Delegates.
Dr. O’Connor lectures extensively on all subjects involving allergy/immunology locally, nationally and internationally. She is currently involved in clinical research of immune deficiency, asthma, allergic rhinitis, and novel treatment for atopic diseases.
Dr. O’Connor volunteers her time and is involved with various nonprofits in the community including Physicians Reach Out, a nonprofit program that provides free primary and specialty medical visits to eligible uninsured residents in Mecklenburg County, the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF), Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), Regional Aids Interfaith Network (RAIN), and the Mecklenburg County Asthma Coalition (MCAC).
Dr. O’Connor is originally from Elyria, Ohio but spent much of her childhood in South Carolina. She and her husband enjoy traveling, cooking, decorating, throwing dinner parties with close friends and volunteering in the Charlotte community. They have one son.