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Why I Walk for Lupus Awareness

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It’s May and that means we’re gearing up for another Lupus Walk. This is the seventh year we walk, the seventh year we gather in our matching team shirts, huddled together, united not by class or politics, tax bracket or neighborhood. We walk side by side, young and old, light and dark, rich and poor to fight a disease that does not discriminate. Neither rain nor unpleasant weather will stop us in our quest to find a cure for this deadly disease. Too many of my incredible “lupie” sisters and brothers need it. I need it.

woman wearing a lupus awareness tshirt and standing in a baseball stadium

I must give a shout-out to my unbelievable lupus warrior support system. We may be spread all over the world geographically but we are forever connected in the heart. Today I walk for all of us, especially all of our fallen warriors, friends we’ve lost along the way. Friends for whom the cure didn’t come soon enough – too many friends, with the numbers growing every year. Rachel, beloved mother of two who lay down for a nap and never again awoke. We mourn you, sister, as we mourn Kristin, so funny and fierce a fighter who never gave up and was always there to provide guidance for everyone, even as she faced her toughest battles. We mourn the sisters and brothers we see memorials posted for on social media, as when one “lupie” dies we are all impacted.

Today I walk for all of my sisters and brothers fighting from a hospital bed. I walk for my friends who are moms and dads and live with the fear every day of passing this on to their children, or leaving them without a parent. I walk for my friends for whom lupus has robbed them of the ability to become a parent. I walk for my friends who struggle to still balance work and lupus with colleagues and bosses who just don’t understand and face prejudices most don’t realize they are projecting. I walk for my friends who can no longer work because lupus has robbed them of careers in the primes of their lives because that balance tipped too far. I walk for the one to be diagnosed tomorrow and the one still reeling in shock from her diagnosis yesterday. I walk for me. Because I may have lupus but it doesn’t have me.

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Originally published: May 9, 2017
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