My name is Bruce Soehnlin and I am 69 years old. I have been a volunteer for the Lupus Foundation for ten years. My wife, Margie, passed on November 9, 1993 from complications of lupus. During the five years she had lupus, we really didn’t have much involvement with the Foundation. We went to several support group meetings, but they were unproductive for us.
My first real involvement happened when Eric Humes spoke with someone at the Clarion Newspaper and asked about someone to help with a bike ride for lupus. Fortunately, the reporter knew that Margie had passed from lupus and gave Eric my name. I was able to make the contacts for Monroe County and the WolfRide was born. That was 1999 and the WolfRide continues.
I have served on the walk committee for Walk For Lupus Now and am proud to say that our team has been one of the top three fundraising teams for walk since 2001. I have served as a volunteer at our annual “Spring Fling” Youth Retreat since its conception in 2000.
The more events I participate in, the more rewards. I have two daughters and a granddaughter who could be affected by lupus in the future. This was one of the incentives for me to learn more about lupus. I have served on the board in several capacities. I have seen the highs and the lows of the Foundation.
It is said that all things happen for a reason. I truly believe the Lord had a mission for me. I attended a training session on working at health fairs and spreading education and awareness of lupus. This included symptoms, types and treatment. Believe it or not, before I got involved with the Lupus Foundation, I was relatively quiet. It bothered me to speak one-on-one or before a group. Fortunately, this has changed. Sometimes, I can become a pest when I get started speaking with people about lupus.
I truly believe that we were put on this earth to help our fellow man. Volunteering is a great way to do this. I’m really a people person. This makes it easier for me. Volunteering can make it easier to speak to people about lupus. I really feel that being a volunteer for the Lupus Foundation has made me a stronger person. It has given me the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. I wish I could express the satisfaction I receive from volunteering. Believe me; the rewards are greater than what I have given.
Volunteering for the Lupus Foundation means you have the opportunity to touch the lives of those that have lupus and fulfill your own. No matter how you choose to join our team, you will experience the joy of working among people who are passionate about our cause.
Please don’t pass up the opportunity that will help fulfill your life. I thank the Lord every day for the opportunity to stay involved in this worthy cause.