I am happy to announce that I am going into my 6th consecutive year of fundraising for The Lupus Foundation of New England. But there will be one minor change; this year they have chosen me as their runner for the 2016 Boston Marathon!! (I know, right?) I will be a one-man team for them with the goal of raising over $10,000!! Although I am more used to running in warm weather on the sunny hills of Falmouth, I am determined to do you proud even if I have to add a few layers.
Though I have been pretty athletic my whole life, I only began running on a regular basis after my first child in 2007. It started off as bonding time with my sister. She would get me out of the house and we would have a blast doing a handful of road races every year just for the fun of it. (And often times there would be a free beer at the end!)
Several years later, my childhood friend Leah heard that I was running Falmouth Road Race she asked if I would consider running for her and her cause, The Lupus Foundation of New England. That’s when it dawned on me that all these miles I was putting in, I could be simultaneously supporting a good cause. This definitely put a different spin on things, and so, since 2011, I have had the pleasure of doing so many of the things that I love to do; Running, raising awareness, and helping out loved ones.
What is Lupus? Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system turns against the parts of the body it is designed to protect. This leads to inflammation and damage to various body tissues. Lupus can affect joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain. Although people with the disease may have many different symptoms, some of the most common ones include extreme fatigue, painful or swollen joints (arthritis), unexplained fever, skin rashes, and kidney problems.
At present there is no cure for lupus. However lupus can be effectively treated with drugs and most people with the disease can lead active healthy lives. Lupus is characterized by periods of illness, called flares, and periods of wellness or remission. Understanding how to prevent flares and how to treat them when they do occur helps people with lupus maintain better health.
Intense research is underway, and scientists are continuing to make great strides in understanding the disease, which may ultimately lead to a cure, until then please consider joining me in my first official journey across the finish line for Lupus Foundation of New England on April 19th 2016. Every penny helps!!