Hollywood Supports the Fifth Annual Walk for Lupus Now® in Los Angeles

Sep 24, 2011, 21:15 ET from Lupus Foundation of America

More than $236,000 raised to support research, education, and support services for people affected by lupus in the Greater Los Angeles area

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hollywood stars of film and television turned out to raise critically needed funds for research, education, and support programs that benefit people affected by lupus during the Fifth Annual Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) Walk for Lupus Now®, in Los Angeles on Saturday, September 24, 2011, at Exposition Park.  Walk for Lupus Now Grand Marshal, Eduardo Xol, of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, rallied a crowd of more than 5,000 participants.  He was joined by actress Busy Philipps, of ABC's Cougar Town and LFA National Board Member Randall Winston, to cut the ribbon at the start of the walk.  Other celebrity participants included: writer and producer Joss Whedon; writer and actress Felicia Day, The Guild; Grant Imahara, Discovery Channel's Mythbusters; actress and writer Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog; and actress Kay Panabaker.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110924/DC74568LOGO )

"My sister has lupus and the Lupus Foundation of America was there for my family when we needed answers and support," said Xol. "That's why I'm proud of my role with the LFA's Walk for Lupus Now, which brings families and friends together to raise awareness of lupus in their communities."

Kathy Vara, News Anchor for NBC4, was the guest emcee for the event which was filled with people wearing the LFA's signature color purple and waving colorful "butterflies of hope" signs above their heads.  By bringing people with lupus together, the LFA Walk for Lupus Now provides an opportunity to create an amazing sense of community and provide hope and support for those affected by the disease.

Los Angeles Walk participants raised more than $236,000 in donations, which is expected to increase in total as more donations are accepted online through the end of the year.  The top fundraising team was CLUB MO, led by Nirvana Adams, Amy Smith, and Felicia Day to support their friend Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon.  The team raised more than $74,000. This is the first team in the history of Walk for Lupus Now to reach more than $50,000.  The top individual participant was Beverly Knaup, who raised more than $14,000 herself, and her team raised more than $23,000 to support the LFA mission to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus and further strengthen and expand the LFA's research, education, and support programs.  To make a donation, visit www.walkforlupusnow.org/losangeles.  

About Walk for Lupus Now

The LFA's Walk for Lupus Now brings together thousands of walkers, supporters, and volunteers in nearly 70 cities across the nation to raise urgently needed funds for life-saving research and education programs.  It also is an opportunity for the lupus community to come together, to learn how to better live with lupus, and raise awareness of the disease in their local communities.

About Lupus

Lupus is an acute and chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system is out of balance, causing inflammation and tissue damage to virtually any organ in the body. Lupus can be unpredictable and potentially fatal.  An estimated 1.5 million Americans and at least five million people worldwide have a form of lupus. Its health effects include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, miscarriages, and organ failure.

About the LFA

The Lupus Foundation of America is the foremost national nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus, and providing support, services, and hope to all people affected by lupus. The LFA and its national network of chapters, branches, and support groups conduct programs of research, education, and advocacy.  For more information, visit www.lupus.org.

Maggie Maloney, Maloney@lupus.org, 202-212-6766
Im Senephimmachack, im@lupus.org, 202-480-4904

SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America