Fresh Air and Fundraising, for the Love of her Mom
You might know a family like Kirsten’s. A family that pulls together when bad news (like lupus) comes knocking – and then, takes action.
For Kirsten’s family, lupus hit home when her mother, Lori, was first diagnosed. Lori was no stranger to medical issues – from seizures, to severe exhaustion and even heart complications. After countless doctor’s visits over several years, Lori was tested for lupus and received her diagnosis just over a year ago.
“Besides hearing about lupus here and there, I didn’t know much about it,” shared Kirsten. “I got some books, educated myself and knew I could make a difference by bringing awareness to lupus and raising money for research.”
“Where I am in Colorado everybody is really active, so I thought of this fundraiser because I knew people would enjoy it.”
Earlier this year Kirsten surprised her mom with her Make Your Mark fundraising idea called Lupus Can Take A Hike. “I like hiking and spend a lot of time outdoors,” said Kirsten. “Where I am in Colorado everybody is really active, so I thought of this fundraiser because I knew people would enjoy it.”
Kirsten kicked off her Make Your Mark fundraiser with preliminary “mini-hikes” to spread the word on social media. She then followed it with a community 5K hike where people donated to take part. She gave away purple bandanas, lupus literature and hung up signs with lupus facts along the hiking route.
Her fundraiser culminated with a 12-day trip hiking across the northwest. Along with a few close friends, she hiked through nine states, seven national parks, 17 national forests and logged 4,387 miles on her feet. Kirsten’s fundraising technique for her hiking trip has been unique and effective.
“We recorded our miles and spread lupus awareness throughout our entire hiking trip. We’ve focused our fundraising on ‘mile sponsorships,’ allowing donors to ‘sponsor’ a certain number of miles. In addition to that, my mom even held her own paint night fundraiser back home in Ohio to help us reach our goal!”
Kirsten’s fundraiser yielded over $1,400 for lupus research. Her efforts were an exhilarating and unique way to tell lupus to take a hike!