In Links to Lupus News, Story Sharing Project

Lupus Warrior and her family lead the 2022 Southern Suburbs Lupus Walk on July 30, 2022

CHICAGO, IL, June 28, 2022 – Gloria Veal was named the 2022 Southern Suburbs Lupus Walk Ambassador by the Lupus Society of Illinois. As the Ambassador, Gloria and her family lead the charge to educate the public about lupus and the importance of the Illinois Lupus Walks.

“My goal is to help raise awareness about lupus and to help as much as I can to support people living with lupus,” said Mrs. Gloria Veal.

“Gloria is an inspiring Lupus Walk Ambassador,” said Mary Dollear, President of the Lupus Society of Illinois. “Gloria’s story is that of a lupus warrior. Everyone who hears Gloria’s story will be moved and inspired to join the fight against this devastating disease.”

Gloria was diagnosed with lupus in 2009. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that disproportionately affects women. Ninety percent of people with lupus are women. Minorities are at greater risk for developing lupus. There is no known cause or cure for lupus. Early diagnosis and treatment is the best defense against this potentially life-threatening disease.

Lupus can attack virtually any system in the body. In 2012, lupus began affecting Gloria’s central nervous system resulting in headaches and seizures. Her life has never been the same.

“I was working full time as an Account Manager for Corporate Safe Company. I was also in graduate school, having just completed my BA in management from Robert Morris College. I had an active social life, I was active in church (singles ministry), I attended book clubs, and had other events with friends,” said Gloria. Since her lupus flare in 2012, “I have stage 2 kidney disease and have a loss of hearing due to the nerve endings being damaged after having seizures back in 2012.”

The Lupus Society of Illinois provides programs and services to improve the quality of life of people living with lupus as well as the family and friends that care for the person living with the disease. Educational events, support groups, individual peer support and the Lupus Community Navigator Program all exist to serve the people of Illinois.

Gloria has been involved with the LSI since 2012. “My mother reached out to LSI for help and guidance when I was not feeling my best.” Gloria said.

The LSI provides support services for people living with lupus and their family and friends. “Lupus impacts the individual and everyone who cares about that person,” said Dollear. “We are here to help build the support system people with lupus need to build.”

Lupus has changed Gloria’s life and as a true lupus warrior, her story of perseverance and strength is inspirational: In addition to meeting and marrying her husband, Gloria “came to LSI in 2016 for internship work to help get me back into the workforce. I also went back to school and earned my master’s degree.”
As the Southern Suburbs Lupus Walk Ambassador, Gloria would like the world to know, “Lupus is a terrible disease, but with the right treatment, help, and support you can make it. ‘Lupus is tough, but we are stronger’”.

Over 200 participants are expected to attend in the hopes of raising $40,000 toward LSI’s mission: to promote lupus awareness and complement the work of health care professionals by providing personalized resources for the lupus community while supporting research.

Along with raising awareness, 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 Southern Suburbs Lupus Walk
WHEN: 9:00am-12:00pm, July 30, 2022
WHERE: Prairie State College, 202 S Halsted Street, Chicago Heights, IL 60411

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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