LSI Story: Honoring a Lupus Warrior
Family Walks for Sister & Daughter who lost her battle with lupus honored as 2019 Chicago Lupus Walk Ambassador!
"We are proud to recognize Yadira, Sara and team Mariam's Crew with this well deserved honor," says Mary Dollear, President of the Lupus Society of Illinois, the organization hosting the event. "Mariam's Crew, like so many Lupus Walk teams, recognizes a lupus warrior who lost her battle against this devastating disease."
Dr. Mariam J. Musa was blindsided by lupus – although she didn't know it at the time. In 1988, shortly after receiving her degree from the University of Chicago in Biological Sciences, Mariam was hospitalized with severe physical symptoms. After multiple tests and scans, Mariam was eventually diagnosed with lupus.
Getting a diagnosis is often difficult for lupus patients. There is no single test for the disease, but instead multiple tests that indicate lupus. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect virtually any system in the body. Ninety percent of people with lupus are women and minorities are harder hit.
Mariam was due to begin the University of Illinois Medical School – and instead battling lupus became the focus of her life. "Mariam approached life with humility, patience, love and understanding,"
Mariam lived with lupus for 10 years. Her family remembers that as her health deteriorated, she was not afraid to try different treatments. She was the first person in Texas to undergo a stem cell transplant for Lupus at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. She said if it didn't help her, maybe the doctors could learn something that will help someone else.
Dr. Mariam J. Musa lost her battle with lupus at 32 in 1999. Since then, her family and friends remember her every year at the Chicago Illinois Lupus Walk with a team, Mariam's Crew.
"Her faith in God and humanity is what has motivated us for the past 20 years to continue the efforts of raising awareness and research in hope of a cure," says her sister. "Our first Lupus Walk in Chicago was in 2000 and since then we have participated every year as Walk Team Mariam's Crew,"
The Chicago Lupus Walk is an annual event presented by LSI to raise funds and awareness about lupus. Every year, hundreds turn out to support people living with lupus and the LSI.
"Through the years, I have seen the growth of LSI in providing more education to patients and families, which is crucial to make better health care decisions," says Yadira.
"Funds raised through the Chicago Lupus Walk go directly to supporting Illinois' lupus community," says Dollear. "In addition to raising awareness and funds, LSI's Lupus Walks are a way for people to pay tribute to the lupus heroes in their life or to honor the memory of a lupus warrior."
Although with treatment, most people with lupus will live a normal life – early diagnosis is key. People with lupus often don't look sick on the surface while their over active immune system is causing lasting damage to their systems. The disease can become life-threatening very quickly.
"Dr. Musa lost her life to lupus," says Dollear. "Every year, the lupus community remembers our fallen warriors, like Dr. Musa and the thousands of others who continue their battle with this challenging disease."
"Mariam's journey on earth ended too quickly at the age of 32," says Yadira. "Nevertheless, she did her very best to live a full life – filled with love and fulfillment. We continue to carry out her journey of helping others especially spreading education and support around lupus. We believe she is our guiding star."
About the Chicago Lupus Walk & Fun Run
WHEN: 8:30am-12:00pm, September 22, 2019
The Fun Run begins at 9:50am and the Walk steps off at 10am
WHERE: Lincoln Park (~Stockton & LaSalle) Chicago, IL
WHAT: Fun, family friendly walk-a-thon and non-competitive fun run that includes entertainment (including a DJ!), raffle, kid's activities, lupus education and much more!
Day-of registration begins at 8:30am – adults: $30, kids (12 and under): $10
Online pre-registration HERE (https://lupusil.salsalabs.org/
All registered participants receive an official 2018 Lupus Walk t-shirt and personal fundraising page.
1 or 3-mile routes are available
About the Lupus Society of Illinois
The Lupus Society of Illinois (LSI), formed in 1973, is the Midwest's leading non-profit health organization dedicated to finding the causes and cure for lupus.
LSI's mission is to promote lupus awareness and complement the work of health care professionals by providing personalized resources for the lupus community while supporting research.
With the help of informed volunteers, lupus medical experts, and committed and caring supporters, we:
· support research and conduct education programs so everyone affected by lupus can have an improved quality of life;
· provide information to ensure people with lupus and their families get answers and health professionals know about new means to diagnose and manage the disease; and,
· conduct activities to increase awareness of lupus, rally public support for those who are affected by lupus, and advocate on their behalf.
The Illinois Lupus Walks are sponsored by Lakeshore Recycling Systems, Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline. For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact email@example.com.
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.
For more information about lupus or the Lupus Society of Illinois contact Mary Dollear, President, at (312) 542-0002.