Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana Chapter Looks Forward to 10th Annual Walk for Lupus Now Event

By: Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana Chapter, Inc. Last Updated: August 18, 2010

The 10th annual Walk for Lupus Now event in Northwest Indiana should be the Chapter’s best walk to date,” said Walk for Lupus Now co-chairperson, Michelle Hurst. “With increased awareness of the event, we have more lupus patients and more teams registered than ever before.” walk-for-lupus-now-logo

Walk for Lupus Now is on Saturday, September 11th at Festival Park in Hobart. The event is a 5K/3.1 mile non-competitive walk and benefits the Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana Chapter (LFA).

Proceeds from the annual walk will help increase lupus awareness and education, maintain support groups and support lupus research.

Teams from businesses, schools, churches and civic organizations participate in the event. “Walk for Lupus Now is a very family friendly event,” said Susan Colby, Walk for Lupus Now co-chairperson. “Participants include lupus patients and their families, parents with young children in wagons and strollers, high school students, college fraternities, church youth groups and more.” Students can earn service hours by participating in the event.

As the guests of honor, all pre-registered lupus patients receive a complimentary Walk for Lupus Now t-shirt and a special gift bag at the walk. Team leader and Walk for Lupus Now committee member, Cindy Ebert, is making a unique bag for each lupus patient. “Lupus patients are the guests of honor at the event,” said Hurst. “They are the reason we walk.”

Lupus patients are encouraged to come and enjoy the morning with us, even if they can’t physically complete the three mile walk,” said Hurst. “Those unable to walk are encouraged to enjoy the festivities and relax in the park.” Lupus patients should pre-register online at www.walkforlupusnownwi.kintera.org or call the office at (800) 948-8806 to request a registration brochure.

There is no registration fee to participate in Walk for Lupus Now. Participants who raise $100 will receive a Walk for Lupus Now t-shirt. Walkers raising $250 or more will receive a long sleeve t-shirt. Participants raising $500 or more will receive a Walk for Lupus Now umbrella. Individuals raising $1000 will receive a Walk for Lupus Now stadium blanket. Participants raising $2,500 will receive a Walk for Lupus Now jacket. Those raising $5000 or more will receive all of the promotional items.

Check in will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 11th. Refreshments are provided for walkers. Registration entertainment includes music by Next Generation DJs, clowns and face painting. Wolfgang will perform the National Anthem. The walk begins at 10 a.m. Participants walk around Lake George, through downtown Hobart and through the quaint neighborhoods surrounding Festival Park. Refreshments will be provided for participants at the post-event celebration.

Walkers are encouraged to register online through a link on www.LupusIndiana.org (www.walkforlupusnownwi.kintera.org). Participants are encouraged to set up an online home page through the site. A link to the home page can easily be e-mailed to friends, family, co-workers and others in e-mail address books for fundraising.

Registration forms are available at www.LupusIndiana.org. Paper registration forms are available from the Chapter office for those without Internet access.

Print Solutions and Medical Specialists are the presenting sponsors of Walk for Lupus Now. BMW of Schererville is a Gold Sponsor. SGS Inc. is a Silver Sponsor.

A vendor show and silent auction will take place at the September 11th event. Corporate sponsors can donate $250 and be included on the walk t-shirt. The deadline for sponsorships is August 25th. Sponsorship information is available at www.LupusIndiana.com or by calling the Chapter office at (800) 948-8806.

For more information about the Walk for Lupus Now event, to register a team or offer assistance as a volunteer, please contact Michelle Hurst at home at (219) 661-0413 or Susan Colby at home at (219) 924-1910.

Approximately 1.5 million Americans have a form of lupus. Based on 2006 census information, it is estimated that 34,187 of Indiana’s residents have lupus; including 2,671 residents in Lake County, 865 residents in Porter County and 597 residents in LaPorte County.

More than 5 million people worldwide struggle with the health consequences of lupus. Inflammation is considered the primary feature of lupus. Lupus is a potentially fatal autoimmune disease capable of damaging virtually any part of the body, including the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain. In its most severe form, lupus can cause disfiguring rashes and scarring, multiple miscarriages, kidney, heart and lung failure, impaired neurological function, strokes, heart attacks and death.

Despite its enormous public health implications, lupus remains a dangerously under-recognized and under-appreciated health issue. More than half of all people with lupus suffer four or more years and visit three or more doctors before being diagnosed with lupus. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to those of many other diseases. There is an urgent need to educate patients and health care providers to achieve earlier and more accurate diagnoses. Improved management of lupus will reduce and prevent its adverse effects, particularly among those communities most severely affected.

Nine out of ten people with lupus are women. Eighty percent of new lupus cases are diagnosed among women ages 15 to 44.

The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) is the nation's leading non-profit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding the causes and cure for lupus. Research, education, and patient services are at the heart of LFA's programs. The Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana Chapter provides awareness and education for the signs and symptoms of lupus for early diagnosis and treatment.

The chapter office, which serves the entire state, is located at 2642 Eleanor Street in Portage. For more information about the Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana chapter, call 800-948-8806 toll free or log on to www.LupusIndiana.org.