WASHINGTON, April 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 4,000 people with lupus, their friends and families converged in the nation's capital on Saturday to shed light on the cruel mystery that is lupus. Grand marshaled by multi-talented entertainer and television personality Nick Cannon, the Lupus Foundation of America's Walk to End Lupus Now™ event in Washington, D.C. transformed Pennsylvania Avenue into a stream of purple, the color lupus advocates associate with this debilitating, poorly understood disease.
Joined by Walk Ambassador and New England Patriots defensive back Tavon Wilson and Master of Ceremonies Eileen Whelan (meteorologist for ABC7), Cannon cut the opening ceremony ribbon. (Cannon's participation in the DC Walk to End Lupus Now event was supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb.)
"I am thrilled to be in our nation's capital for the Lupus Foundation of America's Walk to End Lupus Now event. It's truly inspiring to see a community of people coming together fighting for the same thing. Together, we can rally public support and raise awareness of the need for greater investment in lupus research and participation in clinical trials," said Nick Cannon.
"Walk day is always a special day. Every year lupus patients and supporters gather in our nation's capital and across the country to rally public support and raise awareness of lupus," said Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of Lupus Foundation of America. "We know the community and our nation's leaders will view Saturday's turnout as emblematic of the support in our fight to end lupus.
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 communities together to raise money for lupus research and education programs and increase awareness of the disease.
"We witnessed an outpouring of donations and support organizing this year's Walk," said Jessica Gilbart, President and CEO, Lupus Foundation of America, DMV Chapter. "Our community came together, put on purple, and rallied for a cure to this devastating disease. It's encouraging for patients and their families to have support from each other and working together to solve the cruel mystery. Every dollar raised ensures DC residents affected by lupus have access to the critical services and support needed to combat this brutal disease."
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