Walk Ambassador Robert Knapel
2021 walk Virtual run, WALK, ride ambassador, Robert Knapel. Team captain and President to the Lupus Society of IL Associate Board.
What is your connection to lupus?
My wife has lupus, and I am co-President of the LSI Associate Board. The Associate Board hosts a number of events (pre-Covid) to raise awareness about Lupus including Trivia and Bar Nights. In addition, the Associate Board also hosts educational events and provides resources for those that have Lupus.
Although you don’t have lupus, how has the lupus diagnosis changed your life?
There was a concern that because my wife has Lupus that it might be difficult for us to have a child. It is something that we talked about a lot and having LSI and the Associate Board was a very helpful resource for both of us. We are now the proud parents of a beautiful seven-month-old baby girl.
How did you first become involved in the Illinois Lupus Walk and the Virtual run Walk ride?
I was first involved when I volunteered with the Associate Board. It was a fun atmosphere and was a well-organized event. It was great to see how much money and awareness was raised during the Illinois Lupus Walk.
Why do you think the Illinois Lupus Walk and the Virtual run Walk ride is important?
So much has changed during the pandemic, but I think it is still very important to support organizations, such as LSI, that have important missions. While it is not possible for us to gather in person this year, I think having the virtual walk still allows for those in the community to come together to support a good cause.
How do you make the Illinois lupus Walk and the Virtual run Walk ride personal?
It is important to dedicate the miles to that are walking or running to someone. I think about the reason that I am running, and it encourages me to do more.
As a Team Captain, what are your goals?
My goals are not just to raise money and meet our goals, but to raise awareness about Lupus.
How did you find the LSI?
My wife was a member of the Associate Board and I expressed an interest in joining.
How has the LSI helped you cope with lupus?
I didn’t know anything about Lupus before I got involved. LSI and the Associate Board was very helpful in answering questions and providing support for spouses/family members of those that have Lupus. LSI does an outstanding job of making resources available not just for individuals that have Lupus, but for their friends and family as well.
What would you want the world to know about lupus? Why?
I would like for there to be more awareness about Lupus and how it impacts people differently. The more people that know about Lupus the more momentum it creates to help push for a cure.
Join Robert and hundreds of others by participating in the Virtual run WALK ride for LUPUS! www.lupuswalkil.org