Diagnosed with lupus 11 years ago, Heather Edwards stood in front of more than 300 volunteers and walkers on Sunday, May 20 as part of Asheville’s first Walk For Lupus Now event.
“Though there aren’t that many of you, having you all being here really means a lot,” Edwards told the crowd. Most people wore some purple at the walk—whether it was a T-shirt or tennis shoes— since purple is the color for lupus awareness.
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease disease that causes inflamation. This inflammation can damage major organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin and the brain. In North Carolina alone, the disease affects about 45,000 people.
“People just don’t realize that so many people are affected by this disease because it looks different on every person who has it,” explained Christine John-Fuller, the CEO and president of the piedmont chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America.
Another walk in Asheville is being planned for next year.