‘Walk to End Lupus Now’ Fundraiser Set for Sept. 28 in LA

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by Mary Chapman |

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Aurinia, lupus nephritis

Aiming to raise disease awareness and research funds, the Lupus Foundation of America’s (LFA) Walk to End Lupus Now hits Los Angeles on Sept. 28.

Taking place at the LA Live complex, the 1.33-mile event will again feature actress Kate Linder of television’s “The Young and the Restless” as grand marshal, and actor Ian Harding, most recently seen on “Chicago Med,” as special guest.

“It’s incredible to see the power of the Los Angeles community at the Walk to End Lupus Now, and I’m excited to be back as grand marshal for the second year. My sister-in-law was diagnosed with lupus 19 years ago, and I know how important it is to support our lupus warriors,” Linder said in a news release.

“I’m looking forward to walking, fundraising, and raising lupus awareness alongside each walker. Each participant plays an important role in supporting our community and raising critical funds for lupus research so that we can develop better treatments and find a cure.”

The walk’s theme is Be Powerful, celebrating the strength of lupus patients and the ability of communities to make a difference. Go here for more information on the LA walk, to register as a team or individual, to volunteer, or to make a donation. So far, more than $122,000 has been raised toward the $250,000 goal.

“Each year, I walk in honor of my mom, who died from lupus when I was 13 years old,” said Heather Butterfield, a walk team captain who will participate in her 10th LA event. “But more importantly, I walk in support of my family members and friends that are currently fighting lupus. The walk allows me to do something concrete to help them.”

About 1 million supporters in some 60 cities throughout the nation participate in walks annually to support the 1.5 million U.S. residents living with lupus. To date, walks have raised more than $20 million. Go here to find a local walk or to sponsor one. Here’s a video illustrating what it’s like to participate.

Lupus is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that can affect multiple bodily systems. Some of the more common symptoms include rash, joint and muscle pain, kidney problems, and neurological disorders. Despite a recent study that found lupus to be among the leading causes of death in young women, the disease is relatively poorly understood and underfunded, the LFA said.