Celebrities Join Thousands of Los Angeles Residents to Rally Public Support to Help End One of the World's Most Mysterious and Devastating Diseases

Sep 30, 2013, 11:26 ET from Lupus Foundation of America

America's largest lupus walk program raises funds for lupus research and education programs in the Los Angeles area

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Celebrities turned out to support the Lupus Foundation of America's Walk to End Lupus Now™  this weekend in Los Angeles, to raise money towards research and education programs, increase awareness of the devastating autoimmune disease, and rally public support for those who suffer from its brutal impact. Comedian Joy Koy, who was the master of ceremonies, rallied a crowd of more than 5,000 Los Angeles residents who are living with the lupus disease, along with their families and friends to participate in Walk to End Lupus Now™. Koy was joined by Ian Harding of ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars, Tichina Arnold of Happily Divorced, Mercedes Yvette of America's Next Top Model, and Dion Jackson, Mega Celebrity Fitness Trainer.

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"I'm here supporting my sister who has been living with lupus for nearly 15 years," says Koy. "Lupus is debilitating and destructive and I am so pleased to see so many walkers out this year who have come together to raise money for lupus research and education.  The Walk to End Lupus Now™ event is truly an inspiring show of strength in the battle against lupus."

"This is my second year participating in the walk here in Los Angeles and I'm excited to be out here supporting my mom, who has been living with lupus for more than 19 years," explains Ian Harding. "We need more awareness, and we need more research, so we can find a cure for this disease."

Lupus 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.  According to a recent independent survey released by the Lupus Foundation of America, 72 percent of  Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 have either not heard about lupus at all or know little or nothing about the disease beyond the name.  The statistic is particularly troubling because this is the age group at greatest risk for the disease, and it emphasizes why Walk to End Lupus Now events are so crucial to raising awareness of lupus.

The Lupus Foundation of America is working continuously in California and around the world to help solve the cruel mystery of lupus.  The Foundation has many programs that take place throughout the state, and will host its next walk, at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Sunday, October 27, 2013.  This is another opportunity for people living with lupus and their families to raise funds and support the programs and services of the Lupus Foundation of America.

To learn more or to make a donation, visit http://www.lupus.org/california.

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