WASHINGTON, March 27, 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 Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 19. Cannon will cut the opening ceremony ribbon and lead the more 4,000 walkers down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capitol, 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.
"Join me in our nation's capital for the Lupus Foundation of America's Walk to End Lupus Now event on April 19th. Together, we can rally public support for this disease and call attention to the importance of lupus research and participation in clinical trials," says Nick Cannon. Nick Cannon's participation in the DC Walk to End Lupus Now event is supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Cannon will be joined by Walk Ambassador and New England Patriots defensive back Tavon Wilson. Eileen Whelan, meteorologist for ABC7, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
Lupus has impacted Wilson, a Washington, D.C. native, closely—both his aunt Regina and cousin Dionne are battling the disease.
"When the opportunity came up to help create more awareness for this devastating disease, especially in my hometown, I jumped on it. I wanted to be a positive voice in the community because those with lupus deserve a cure for it," said Wilson.
Organized by the Lupus Foundation of America, Walk to End Lupus Now events are held in more than 60 cities across the country, making it the largest lupus walk program in the entire world The walk events bring together community members—people with lupus, friends, families, health care providers and celebrities—to raise money for lupus research and education programs, increase awareness of the disease and rally public support for those who feel the brutal impact of lupus.
"The Lupus Foundation of America diligently works to ensure that federal and state funds are provided for lupus research and education programs. We must continue to make our voices heard and educate our elected officials about the impact of lupus on individuals and their families. The Walk to End Lupus Now in our nation's capital serves as the perfect platform to accomplish this," explained Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of Lupus Foundation of America. "More resources for research will further our efforts to find a cure for this unpredictable and devastating disease. We urge the community and Congress to join us in our fight to end lupus."
"Every dollar raised from Washington, D.C.'s Walk to End Lupus Now event, supports the Lupus Foundation of America's efforts to solve the mystery of lupus, while we continue to provide services to the thousands of residents that turn to us every year for answers and support," said Jessica Gilbart President and CEO, Lupus Foundation of America, DMV Chapter
Registration for the walk is open online at DCLupusWalk.org. 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