In Links to Lupus News, Story Sharing Project

Team Jackie’s Angels Uses Walk to Keep Loved One’s Battle Alive at
The Annual Western Suburbs Illinois Lupus Walk

CHICAGO, IL, August – Team Jackie co-captains Elsa Bueno and Eddie Silva are this year’s Western Suburbs Lupus Walk Ambassadors.

“Elsa and Eddie are outstanding Ambassadors,” says Mary Dollear President of the Lupus Society of Illinois. “Lupus impacts individuals and their families. Thanks to Elsa and Eddie sharing their powerful story, many more families will understand what lupus is and how they can find help.”

Jacqueline (Jackie) Silva was diagnosed with lupus in 1996 at age 15. She lost her battle with lupus in 2008 when she was just 27 years old. Now, her family keeps her memory alive by participating in the annual Western Suburbs Illinois Lupus Walk

The Illinois Lupus Walks have been hosted by the LSI since 2001 in metro Chicago. Thousands of participants have come together to raise awareness and funds for lupus. The event is an opportunity to meet others in the lupus community and learn about lupus.

“My sister did not have the easiest of lives,” says Jackie’s brother Eddie Silva. “After my sister’s passing, I was in a very dark place for quite some time.”

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that primarily affects women of childbearing age and can impact virtually any organ system in the body. Lupus is characterized by flares (active periods of the disease). Many people with lupus may not look sick on the outside when lupus is wreaking havoc on their system.

“When Jackie passed away from lupus complications, my heart was in pieces,” says Elsa, “I could not imagine how I’d be able to carry on. I found the best way to pay tribute to her life is by joining efforts to raise awareness about this disease that took her from us. So I decided to create the team Jackie’s Angels.”

“When [Elsa] asked me to be a part of the team in 2009 as co-captain, I realized this was the boost I needed.” says Eddie. “Instead of dwelling on my loss, I was motivated to talk to more people about Jackie and help spread awareness.”

Since 2009, the Lupus Walk Team Jackie’s Angels has participated in the lupus walks – keeping Jackie’s memory alive and raising awareness and funds to support the LSI’s mission as well.

The Lupus Society of Illinois provides programs and resources to the lupus community through education, support and financial services. Perhaps more important than anything else, the LSI brings the lupus community together and shows individuals they are not alone.

Jackie attended a Lupus Walk and her cousin and best friend Elsa Bueno remembers how happy Jackie was, “She was super excited to find a community she can relate to and hear stories about struggles she thought she was along in,” says Elsa.

“Being a part of this this team has changed me in ways that are not easy to describe,” says Eddie. “Once I became involved with the team, the more I heard about how much my sister was loved.”

The Western Suburbs Lupus Walk 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 12, 2023
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 2023 Lupus Walk t-shirt and personal fundraising page. 1 or 3-mile routes are available

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.

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.

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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