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Providing Answers, Support and Hope in Missouri, Southern Illinois, & Eastern Kansas
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The Walk to End Lupus Now is the Lupus Foundation of America’s largest fundraising event. It brings people from across the country together for one unified purpose – to end lupus. Your fundraising dollars will help us raise awareness of lupus, provide vital programs, support, and assistance, and fund research to unlock the mysteries of lupus and improve the quality of life for those living with this devastating disease.

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Walk Details

Know Before You Go!

LIMITED ATTENDANCE

Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and to ensure the safety for people with lupus, attendance will be limited. The in-person events are only for those who have raised money and earned prizes, and up to four family members. 

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

ANYONE age 12 or older and NOT fully vaccinated is asked to wear a mask. If you are not feeling well or have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please do not participate. These guidelines will be strictly followed.

COVID-19 & LUPUS

People with lupus are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Some people with lupus may not have a strong response to the vaccine and may not produce enough protective antibodies. If you have lupus, you should talk to your health care team about when it is safe for you to return to attending public events and/or stop wearing a mask, even after you have been fully vaccinated. 

ARRIVAL TIMES

Registered walkers will be assigned a time to arrive between 9:00 and 11:00 AM. Your time will be emailed to you as we get closer to the event. There will be no day of registration. 

What Activities Are Happening?

You are welcome to walk with your family in the parks, but please understand that there will be no start/finish lines, no set route, and no signs or support. Please be courteous to others in the park and always keep at least 6 feet apart. 

KANSAS CITY – Shawnee Mission Park 

  • Check-in at the Pavilion to pick up your incentive prizes
  • Buy lupus swag
  • Buntinis provided by Nothing Bundt Cakes

Maps & Parking

St. Louis - Saturday, September 18, 2021
Chesterfield Central Park
16365 Lydia Hill Drive |  Chesterfield, MO 63017
Pavilion near the parking lot
MAP

Kansas City - Saturday, September 25, 2021
Shawnee Mission Park
Pavilion at the Theatre in the Park
7710 Renner Road | Shawnee, KS 66218
MAP
 

Join Us Virtually

If you are unable to attend, you can still participate by fundraising, earning prizes, and walking in your neighborhood. We will also broadcast live on Facebook from each event.

You can also join us on October 16, 2021, as we come together from coast to coast for a virtual walk celebration. You will have an opportunity to connect with other lupus warriors and celebrate the power we have together in the fight to end lupus!

Why I Walk

Curtisha Anderson

My name is Curtisha Anderson. I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) 30 years ago when I was 14 years old. Shortly, after diagnosis, I started emergency dialysis because lupus had affected my kidneys. I had never heard of lupus, and I was so afraid. I questioned whether I could live a normal teenage life. How would I live life with such a cruel disease? After being on dialysis on and off throughout the years, I received a kidney transplant in 2017, and I feel great. Other than the occasional flares, I am managing my lupus very well. I follow my doctor’s orders and continue to educate myself, so that I can be in optimal health.

This journey has been long, hard, and rough, but one that I’m not sure that I would change. I have had the pleasure of meeting some really great people along the way. I have also learned so much about myself through this entire process. I have become my best advocate and I advocate for others. I can truly say that “life is good”!

I walk in the Lupus Foundation of America, Heartland Chapter’s Walk to End Lupus Now in Kansas City every year to give other patients like myself hope! I support The Lupus Foundation of America, Heartland Chapter because I believe in the work that they do, and I have personally benefited from the services they provide.

Sign up and start fundraising today and then join me in Kansas City on September 25th or in St. Louis on September 18th.  When you donate and fundraise, you help patients like me.

Christy Wohlgemuth

Hello from Swansea, Illinois. I'm Christy Wohlgemuth, a 42-year-old mom of two incredible daughters, two adorable dogs, a salty cat, and so many plants. I am also a wife, teacher, avid reader, and a lupus patient. Though it can be difficult at times as lupus absolutely dominates every aspect of my life, I try not to describe myself first as someone with this awful disease.  
 
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that is different for everyone. For some it can be very mild, and for others it can be fatal. Lupus can attack any organ in the body, including the skin, heart, lungs, and central nervous system. It is a difficult to live with and can be hard to manage. 

Lupus is the cruel disease that stopped my love of running in its tracks. The disease that forces me to stay out of the sun or risk a flare of my lupus. The disease that causes my joints to swell, terrible headaches, awful pain, and incredible fatigue. I am on lots of prescription medications, I undergo chemo infusions to calm my immune system, and see several specialists to treat my many symptoms.

I raise funds and walk in the Lupus Foundation of America, Heartland Chapter's Walk to End Lupus Now in St. Louis because I want to fund research to find a cure for lupus, and to support local programs to help people living with lupus find help and support.

Sign up today to join the Heartland Chapter's Walk to End Lupus Now, help raise money to find a cure for lupus, and if you're near St. Louis, I'll see you on the walking trail on September 18th. 
 

Ken Malinowski

My name is Ken Malinowski and I walk for my little brother Louis who passed away 2 years ago after fighting lupus for 5 years. I saw the pain and agony, along with the financial burden, he had trying to get well as he fought this terrible disease.

Louis wanted to give back to help others who had lupus, so he volunteered at the Walk to End Lupus Now in Kansas City. That's when he invited me to attend with him 5 years ago, to learn and get educated about this terrible disease and to participate in the walk and raise funds. 

While attending the walk, I heard testimonies from those fighting this disease. I got it. I wanted to help. Plus, I got to work side-by- side with my little brother to show my support and to enjoy a wonderful day with our local lupus community. 

So yeah, I got hooked to help ALL WHO HAVE LUPUS. As Louis carried the torch and passed it on to me, our motto is: We Walk For All Who Have Lupus. And It's just not me. I have the love and support of my family and Louis' loyal friends. The Lupus Foundation of America, Heartland Chapter is my #1 charity, and we are carrying on Louis Malinowski’s legacy to help ALL WHO HAVE LUPUS.

Join me and my family at the Kansas City Walk to End Lupus Now on September 25th and you will get hooked too. Start fundraising today. 
 

Patty Weaver

My name is Patty Weaver. I was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in January 2016, and later that same year, I was also diagnosed with subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE). My symptoms started at the end of a week-long road trip with my husband in sunny California. On one of our last days, I planned to spend a few relaxing hours at the pool reading, swimming, and taking in the sun. About 15 minutes in, my legs and hands began to itch, and soon it was distracting enough that I couldn’t enjoy being poolside. I thought I was having an allergic reaction to the sunscreen and went back to my room. A little Cortizone 10 and a few minutes later, the itchiness had subsided. Not gone, but not so distracting.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I thought I was still dealing with an allergic reaction. I had small bumps on my hands and feet, and the itchiness just wouldn’t go away. At first, I was treated for scabies because the bumps looked very similar. It wasn’t scabies, and it wasn’t an allergic reaction. Within a month, I had a bright red rash over most of my body, and I was tired all the time. 

My general practitioner took some bloodwork and put me on prednisone. Within a few days, my doctor called me personally to tell me she thought I might have an autoimmune disease, possibly lupus. She referred me to a rheumatologist. The wait to see my new doctor was three months. During that time, my symptoms got worse and included joint pain, fevers, and fatigue. I was having memory problems, couldn’t concentrate, and didn’t sleep well. 

By the time I saw my rheumatologist, I was a mess. Three months later, she diagnosed me with SLE. We assume that I got too much sun while on vacation, which kicked my immune system into overdrive leading to lupus.

While my journey to a diagnosis was short in comparison to most lupus survivors, it was tedious. I can’t imagine going through that type of uncertainty, pain, and mental anguish for six years – the average time for a lupus diagnosis.

Why do I walk? I walk to shorten the time of diagnosis. I walk to give people with lupus an easier path to understanding why their body is attacking them. I walk to raise funds for better diagnostic tools and improved treatments for others like me.  

Please consider walking with me and raising funds for the Lupus Foundation of America, Heartland Chapter’s Walk to End Lupus Now. We all need to do our part to help people living with lupus. 
 

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