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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Stories of Courage and Hope for those living with Lupus

Lynnore Thames Lupus patient

Lynnore was diagnosed with lupus 20 years ago. After returning to school to pursue her law degree, she felt overcome with extreme fatigue but thought it was just because she was an older student, balancing night classes and working during the day. But then her symptoms continued to grow.

It took several years for Lynnore to receive her lupus diagnosis, but soon after she did, she wanted to find other people experiencing the same thing as her while also finding a trustworthy place to learn more about lupus.

“I believe in strength in numbers,” explained Lynnore. “I was searching online and found the Lupus Foundation of America. Then I learned they were organizing their first Walk to End Lupus Now® in New York City, and I knew I wanted to be involved.”

Since that day, Lynnore joined a remarkable group of volunteers that founded the New York City Walk to End Lupus Now, and year after year plan an event that attracts thousands to raise awareness of lupus and funds to support lupus research, education and support programs. But, last year was different. With the COVID-19 pandemic, they were faced with the reality of not holding their walk for the first time in 12 years.

“We had never dealt with anything like this before, and we didn’t know what to expect from a virtual event,” shared Lynnore. “But the Foundation did an excellent job!”

To be sensitive to what everybody was going through during the pandemic, Lynnore decided to take a slightly different approach to fundraising, but was quickly overcome by the generosity of friends and family, having one of her best fundraising years ever!

“Several members of my team met me in Brooklyn Bridge Park wearing Walk to End Lupus Now shirts from years past or whatever purple they had. We walked safely, wearing masks, and even had groups yell out to us to cheer us on. I also loved joining the virtual celebration online – seeing everybody sharing their photos and celebrating together was incredible!”

“We all play a part in raising awareness of lupus and funds so we can push research forward. It’s really important that we’re at the 2021 virtual Walk to End Lupus Now in numbers, that we continue this fight and uplift the Lupus Foundation of America and the incredible work it’s doing,” shared Lynnore.

Lynnore also added, “One of the things that makes the event special again this year, is that by hosting it virtually, it provides lupus warriors and others an opportunity to join in this special celebration who may have not had the opportunity in the past, whether it was due to their health, or not having an in-person event nearby.”

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