Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough’s third annual Lupus Cruise to benefit his Dorough Lupus Foundation sets sail from Miami on Sunday (December 15) for a seven-day adventure aboard the Carnival Victory. Dorough, his sister Pollyanna, and the rest of his family will be on board as the Victory visits ports in the Eastern Caribbean, including San Juan, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas.
The Dorough Lupus Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization founded by Dorough and his family shortly after his sister Caroline Cochran died from the disease in 1998.
Dorough explained to LAUNCH, “I unfortunately lost one of my sisters, Caroline Cochran, to the disease Lupus four years ago on December 12. Actually, right after it happened, her doctor said, ‘You know what I know the Backstreet Boys, and you guys do a lot of charity work and are very supportive to other foundations, but have you ever thought of creating your own Lupus foundation, and using your ‘celebrity status’ to try to promote awareness?’ I felt it was going to be hard for me to do it all on my own, but then with talking with my family we decided to create the Dorough Lupus Foundation.”
The Foundation aids in research and education, and in providing financial assistance to organizations that help people living with Lupus who cannot afford treatment. “That’s one thing that we really pride ourselves in,” said Dorough. “We keep the administrative costs down low and really give a bulk of the money towards research, and towards education, and towards assisting families that can’t afford to pay for treatment.”
Dorough added that he’s preparing to head back to the studio with the Backstreet Boys next year, and he’s also planning future events to raise money for his Foundation: “Probably we’ll be back in the studio after the beginning of the year, so between now and then I’m gonna try and do as much as I can, as well as take a little bit of time of for the holidays, so we’re gonna see. We’re actually in the process of planning for the next three months. We were talking about maybe doing a Hard Rock tour-a lot of unofficial stuff.”
Meanwhile, the annual cruise has raised more than $85,000 for the Dorough Lupus Foundation thus far. For more information on the Foundation, please visit doroughlupusfoundation.org.