Sep. 12, 2018

Wills Robinson: Running for a Reason

This profile is part of a series highlighting people who are participating in the Team Make Your Mark program. Keep an eye out for our upcoming Spring and Fall events or join the Choose Your Own Race team to run or walk in any race or distance you prefer. For more information, please visit www.lupus.org/teammakeyourmark.

Wills and Aiden met four years ago when he moved to the United States from England. “Before I met Aiden, I hadn’t heard of lupus,” shared Wills.

Aiden was upfront with Wills about what lupus is and how it affects her – from her symptoms, to doctor’s appointments and hospital stays. “The thing about Aiden is, you would never know she’s sick. If you met her, you wouldn’t know anything is wrong – she’s strong and doesn’t want anybody to worry about her.”

Since being diagnosed with lupus at age 11, Aiden has been an active advocate and voice for people living with the disease. She’s marched on Capitol Hill to educate her representatives about lupus, raised over $20,000 for the Foundation and has been involved in several other awareness related initiatives.

After doing his own research about lupus and educating himself about the disease, learning what Aiden has done to advocate and raise awareness, and supporting her in any way he could, Wills decided to do something more.

“I ran the New York half marathon in March for Aiden. Initially I didn’t tell anybody I was doing it and I didn’t fundraise until after the fact – I wanted to make sure I could finish the race!” shared Wills. “Now I’m training and fundraising with Team Make Your Mark for the Philadelphia half marathon.”

When asked about what Wills’ Team Make Your Mark participation means to her, Aiden shared “It takes a special kind of person to understand and be a partner of someone with lupus. It’s really amazing how Wills has realized how important lupus awareness is to me and that it’s become really important to him.”

Wills says that training and fundraising for a half marathon for such an important cause has been so motivating, even when training gets tough. It’s something that he’ll never regret doing, and to us it sounds like there may be more half marathons with Team Make Your Mark in Wills’ future!