An unprecedented $3 million was raised to support lupus research through two fundraising efforts, the 2016 Walk with Us to Cure Lupus program and the TCS NYC Marathon team, the Lupus Research Alliance announced.
In total, the national Walk program has raised about $33.5 million since its 2002 inception, the Lupus Research Alliance said in a press release. All money gained through these fundraisers goes directly to support lupus research programs, it added, with the Lupus Research Alliance’s board of directors covers all administrative and fundraising expenses.
New York City leads all lupus walk sites in its fundraising success, having raised more than $1.5 million this year. The second largest and most profitable walk takes place at MetLife Stadium in nearby East Rutherford, N.J., the group said. Other cities taking part in the Walk with Us program are Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
“We are so proud to have built such a successful Walk program,” Kenneth M. Farber, co-chief executive officer of Lupus Research Alliance, said in the release. “Tens of thousands of people impacted with lupus participate every year, enlisting friends and family to join in and help fund the best research money can buy to find a cure for this tough disease.”
Lupus Research Alliance has been an official charity partner of the TCS NYC Marathon since 2009, and is the only lupus organization to host a marathon team. Team Life without Lupus also participates in the United Airlines Half Marathon in NYC, and will be running in its March 2017 race. Since 2009, the team’s more than 200 former and current runners has raised close to $1 million.
“By raising funds, joining a Walk team, or cheering on your favorite Team Life without Lupus Marathon runner, everyone can help propel the lupus research needed for better treatments and a cure. We aim to free the world of lupus, and together we can,” said Margaret G. Dowd, co-chief executive officer of Lupus Research Alliance.
Karen LeMura, a young woman with lupus who is a two-time marathon runner, said she joined the team last year to take advantage of what you can do when “times are good” and to “never give up the fight.”
“I never know when that day will come when I physically can’t do these things anymore. So, I have to life live to the fullest while I can,” LeMura said.