WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Multi-talented entertainer and television personality Nick Cannon will serve as the Grand Marshal at the Walk to End Lupus Now™ event in Los Angeles on Saturday, September, 20, 2014. Cannon will cut the opening ceremony ribbon and lead the more than 5,000 walkers around Exposition Park shedding light on the cruel mystery that is lupus. Cannon was diagnosed with lupus nephritis (lupus kidney disease) in 2012 and has been a tireless advocate for increased awareness of lupus and the importance of research.
"I am thrilled to participate in Walk to End Lupus Now and have the opportunity to join thousands of individuals with lupus, and their families and friends in the fight against lupus. We can't do it alone. Together, we can raise awareness of lupus and its impact on our communities and call attention to the importance of lupus research," says Cannon.
Cannon will be joined by Walk Ambassador and actor, Ian Harding of ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars. Kathy Vara, co-anchor NBC4 weekend, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
Harding has participated in the Los Angeles Walk to End Lupus Now for the last two years in support of his mom, who is living with lupus. He has raised nearly $50,000 in support of lupus research and education programs.
"I'm honored to participate in the Walk again, and truly grateful for the overwhelming support I have received from my fans over the last few years," said Harding. "Awareness is key, and I will continue to do my part, so we can get the resources and support needed to one day find a cure and beat this disease."
A recent survey found that 72 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34, the age group at greatest risk for the disease, have either not heard about lupus at all or know little or nothing about the disease beyond the name. Every dollar raised from Los Angeles's Walk to End Lupus Now event, as well as the others like it that take place across the country, supports the Lupus Foundation of America's efforts to solve the mystery of lupus -- one of the world's cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases -- by increasing public awareness of the disease, funding critically needed research programs and providing local support programs and services to those who suffer from its brutal impact.
Registration for the walk is open online at walktoendlupus.org/losangeles. Participants can also create a personal fundraising page on the walk website to raise money, recruit new team members and get valuable fundraising tips.
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. Lupus is a cruel mystery because it is hidden from view and undefined, has a range of symptoms, strikes without warning, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. Lupus is debilitating and destructive and can be fatal, yet research on lupus remains underfunded relative to diseases of similar scope and devastation.
About the Lupus Foundation of America
The Lupus Foundation of America is the only national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, one of the world's cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases, while giving caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. Through a comprehensive program of research, education, and advocacy, we lead the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus. Learn more about the Lupus Foundation of America at lupus.org. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America