By Stephanie Butzer
On April 21, the North Carolina Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America will hold its 5th Annual Walk to End Lupus Now in Raleigh.
Last year, more than 1,100 people participated in the walk. This year, Susan Corbett of Burlington, participant and “Lupus thriver,” said there are more than 60 teams registered to participate
Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus, can affect any part of the body. The immune system attacks cells and tissue, which causes inflammation and tissue damage. Lupus is incurable, although current research is looking for a cause, cure and better treatment for affected people.
“It’s very hard to raise money because so many people don’t understand the disease,” Corbett said.
Corbett, a captain, has had her team for several years. She said some other captains have Lupus, or have a family member who is fighting or died from the autoimmune disease.
“(The participants) all come together and just have a day to celebrate and raise money trying to find better treatments and find a cure,” Corbett said. “It’s a day we can all get together and be ourselves and not somebody with a disease. We’re all fighting for the same reason.”
The teams have been raising money for the past four to five months. Corbett said each walker aims to raise at least $100 through fundraisers or donations. This year, her team raised $20,000, a new record in North Carolina.
The Walk to End Lupus Now gives Corbett a chance to personally thank family, friends and team members around the state who have supported her in her fight against Lupus, she said.
The walk will be April 21 at 3 p.m. in North Carolina State University Centennial Campus in Raleigh. There will also be a walk in Charlotte April 28 and one in Ashville May 18. More information is available at www.lupusnc.org