2013 walks aim to ‘end lupus now’

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Supporting lupus research: Hundreds of people walk throughout the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point, Ind., during the 2012 annual Walk for Lupus Now. There are several 2013 fundraising events planned in northern Illinois and northwest Indiana. | SUN-TIMES MEDIA FILE PHOTO

Did You Know

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can wreak widespread havoc on the body. There are generally four recognized forms or types of lupus: Cutaneous (skin) Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Drug-induced Erythematosus and Neonatal Lupus. Here are just a few of the problems people with lupus suffer from:

More than 90 percent of people with SLE will experience joint and/or muscle pain at some time during the course of their illness.

As many as 40 percent of all people with lupus, and as many as two-thirds of all children with lupus, will develop kidney complications.

Lupus Foundation of America

Each year, thousands of people across the country join forces with the Lupus Foundation of America and walk with one unified purpose — to end lupus, a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body.

The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that 1.5 million Americans have a form of lupus. Although lupus can strike men and women of all ages, 90 percent of individuals diagnosed with the disease are women. Most people develop lupus between the ages of 15 and 44.

The Foundation reports that the average annual direct health care cost of patients with lupus was $12,643 according to a 2008 study. Two of three lupus patients reported a complete or partial loss of their income because they no longer are unable to work full time due to complications of lupus.

The Illinois Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America raised $350,000 through five walks in 2012. Communities in northern Illinois and northwestern Indiana are currently gearing up for this year’s fundraising efforts to raise money for lupus research, increase awareness of lupus, and rally public support for those who suffer from the disease.

For more information on Walk to End Lupus Now events, becoming a sponsor, joining a planning committee, or fundraising, visit www.lupus.org.

— The Lupus Foundation of America