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Cheryl Vail has lived with lupus most of her life – she Walks for Lupus to raise awareness and funds to help others

CHICAGO, IL, August – Lupus has been a part of Cheryl Vail’s life since she was 16 in 1974. She’s lived through life threatening flares and two kidney transplants.

“Having been diagnosed at such an early age, I just learned to deal with the symptoms and the medications,” Cheryl says. “As a teenage girl I was self-conscious of the side effects from large doses of steroids. (Weight gain & Moon face), but as I grew older, that was the least of my problems.”

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect virtually any system in the body. Ninety percent of people with lupus are women. There’s no known cause and no known cure for lupus.

Cheryl’s lupus symptoms began with constant joint pain and fatigue. After she married, Cheryl had a miscarriage followed by multiple blood clots, a cerebral bleed, pulmonary embolism and a heart attack. Then kidney failure resulted in 8 years of dialysis and two kidney transplants.

Cheryl’s symptoms are common to lupus patients – joint pain, fatigue, blood clots and miscarriages are all symptoms of lupus. About half of the people with lupus will suffer from kidney related issues.

Cheryl and her family fight back against lupus by participating in the Illinois Lupus Walks: “We began attending Lupus walks/runs back in the late 90’s,” she says. As a Team Captain, Cheryl’s goal is to “continue supporting The Lupus Society of Illinois. Attending walks, spreading awareness and information regarding lupus and its affects. That LSI is also there to help us all – patients, families, and supporters,” she says.

“Cheryl and her family are long-time supporters of the Lupus Walk,” says Mary Dollear, President of the Lupus Society of Illinois. “The team has grown over the years as Cheryl’s family has grown and the impact they have on the lupus community is tremendous.”

Cheryl’s support and commitment to lupus awareness is paying off. “I grew up in the 70’s without knowing anyone with lupus in high school, nursing school or work,” she says. “With attending the walks, we have come across others that have lupus and become encouraged by talking with others. And that LSI can help bring the lupus community together.”

Join Cheryl and her team and hundreds of other lupus survivors and supporters at the Western Suburbs Lupus Walk on Saturday, August 13, 2022 in Naperville.

The event is a fundraiser benefiting the Lupus Society of Illinois – the only state based organization serving the lupus community.

Along with raising awareness and funds to support LSI’s mission, the Lupus Walk will also be full of fun activities, such as a DJ and entertainment, a raffle and a team t-shirt contest. There will be a festival area with a stage and tents for LSI sales, kids’ activities, top teams and sponsors. Light refreshments will be served.

About the Western Suburbs Lupus Walk
WHEN: 9:00am-12:00pm, August 13, 2022
WHERE: Naperville River Walk, Naperville
Day-of registration begins at 9am – adults: $30, kids (12 and under): $10
Online pre-registration HERE – adults: $25, kids (12 and under): $10
All registered participants receive an official 2022 Lupus Walk t-shirt and personal fundraising page. 1 or 3-mile routes are available

About the Lupus Society of Illinois
The Lupus Society of Illinois (LSI), formed in 1973, is the Midwest’s leading non-profit health organization dedicated to finding the causes and cure for lupus.

LSI’s mission is to promote lupus awareness and complement the work of health care professionals by providing personalized resources for the lupus community while supporting research.

With the help of informed volunteers, lupus medical experts, and committed and caring supporters, we:
• support research and conduct education programs so everyone affected by lupus can have an improved quality of life;
• provide information to ensure people with lupus and their families get answers and health professionals know about new means to diagnose and manage the disease; and,
• conduct activities to increase awareness of lupus, rally public support for those who are affected by lupus, and advocate on their behalf.

About Lupus:
Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with, and a challenge to treat.

For more information about lupus or the Lupus Society of Illinois contact Mary Dollear, President, at (312) 542-0002.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Dollear, LSI, (312) 648-6053, [email protected]


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