Local Advocate Named 2017 Southern Suburbs Lupus Walk Ambassador

 In Press Releases, Story Sharing Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KANEFUS WALKER, Hazel Crest resident and lupus support group leader,
named Southern Suburbs Lupus Walk Ambassador

CHICAGO, IL, MAY 11 – This year, Kanefus Walker, lupus support group leader, will serve as Ambassador to the 9th annual Lupus Walk on May 20th, 2017.

“Kanefus’s history of leadership in the lupus community and her commitment to the fight against lupus make her an excellent ambassador for the Southern Suburbs Illinois Lupus Walk,” says Charles Brummell, President & CEO of the Lupus Society of Illinois – the organization hosting the event and benefitting from funds raised. “The Illinois Lupus Walks are about the lupus community coming together in strength – because when we’re together we make a difference.”

Kanefus has been instrumental in the success of the Southern Suburbs Lupus walk – getting involved since her diagnosis in 2009. “I learned about the Illinois Lupus Walk through the lupus support group I was attending and decided to join the committee,” Kanefus says.

For the past several years, Kanefus has been a captain of Flare Fighters – a Southern Suburbs Lupus Walk Team. “As a captain and as this year’s ambassador I will assist in raising money for education, research and promoting awareness,” she says. “My goal is to educate the public about what lupus is and what people living with lupus go through.”

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 1 in every 200 Americans, about 65,000 Illinois residents. Yet lupus remains difficult to diagnose and misunderstood by the general population. Despite potentially life-threatening health effects of lupus, many people with lupus don’t look sick.

“Lupus is very challenging. While we may look fine on the outside, our bodies are going through hell on the inside,” she says. “It saddens me that after all of this time, so little is known about the disease but people are newly diagnosed daily,” Kanefus says.

As the leader for the Hazel Crest Lupus Support Group, Kanefus is in a unique position to meet and counsel those new to the lupus community.

“If I could educate the world about one aspect of lupus, it’s that it is NOT AIDS nor cancer. It is not something you can catch from someone else,” Kanefus says.

The Illinois Lupus Walks serve as an opportunity to increase awareness about lupus, provide an opportunity for the lupus community to come together in strength and to raise funds to continue the Lupus Society of Illinois’ programs and services.

This year, over 500 participants are expected to raise $60,000 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.

The Southern Suburbs Illinois 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.
Beyond all the fun and excitement the Illinois Lupus Walk brings, Kanefus knows the funds raised at the Illinois Lupus Walk will benefit the Lupus Society of Illinois’ mission – and the entire lupus community. “LSI provides a variety of avenues for information to help meet the needs of the lupus patients and even their families,” she says. “Their concern for helping the lupus community since 1973 is genuine.”
About the Southern Suburbs Illinois Lupus Walk
WHEN: Saturday, May 20 2017
9:00am – Activities & Registration Begins
10:00am – Walk Begins
WHERE: Bicentennial Park, 203rd St & Achilles Ave, Olympia Fields, IL 60461

REGISTRATION:
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 2017 Lupus Walk t-shirt & personal fundraising page.

1 or 3-mile routes are available

About the Lupus Support Group – Hazel Crest
Lupus Support Groups are volunteer facilitated and provide resources, information and a sympathetic ear to those who have been affected by lupus. The Hazel Crest Lupus Support Group typically meets the 3rd Saturday of the month except for May, July and August. For more information on this or any Lupus Support Group, please contact Taurean Jackson at 312-542-0004 or email Taurean@lupusil.org.

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, Vice President, at (312) 542-0002.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Dollear, LSI, (312) 648-6053, mary@lupusil.org

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