On 10/10/10, I will be running the Chicago Marathon in memory of Joel Cano. He passed away in 2008 from Lupus at the young age of 31. Lupus occurs when the body attacks itself, causing inflammation and tissue damage virtually anywhere in the body, and thus making it difficult to treat. Congrats, you are now only 4 of 10 people that know what Lupus is. It is estimated that 1.5 million people have Lupus in the US.
Joe’s 8-year battle against Lupus began with heavy doses of steroids and blood thinners. Due to steroids, his body weight increased making it difficult for him to complete daily activities that we all take for granted. In 2003, his right leg was amputated due to blood clots. His next battle included learning to balance his body on a prosthetic. In 2008, he went into the hospital with what we thought was a simple cold. The cold caused his lungs to shut down. After a month on the respirator, it was time for us to say goodbye. Joe taught family and friends a lesson – keep fighting till the end and never give up.
The nature of the disease has made it challenging to design clinical trials, because almost every patient has different symptoms and receives different treatments. There haven't been any new drugs in 50 years!!! However, hope is on the horizon. Human Genome Sciences says that its experimental drug Benlysta could be on the market by the end of this year.
After I ran my last Chicago marathon in 2007 in unfriendly running conditions (92ºF!), I decided to NEVER run another marathon. However, since we lost Joe, I have been motivated to run again. This time, I’m not running for my OWN personal satisfaction. This time, I’m running to raise money and awareness and fight against this ugly disease.
Your donation to the Lupus Foundation of America - Illinois Chapter (LFAI) is tax deductible and can be done through this website. It’s simple, fast, and totally secure. Following your donation, you will receive an e-mail for tax purposes.
Thank you for your support. Please forward my fundraising page to everyone you know who may be interested in joining us in the battle against Lupus.