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. The Lupus Foundation of America
calls Lupus a “cruel mystery” because it is often hidden from view, has a wide range of symptoms, strikes without warning, and has no known cause or cure. According to the U.S. Department of Health
, some groups of people have higher rates of Lupus. For example, African American women are three times more likely to get Lupus than white women. Also, African-American women tend to develop Lupus at a younger age and have more severe symptoms than white women. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases
states that Lupus is also more common among Hispanic/Latino, Asian, and American Indian women.
recently learned that Crystal Harkless, administrative manager of NC State’s African American Cultural Center, will be participating in the Raleigh Walk to End Lupus Now
, to be held on April 27, 2014
on NC State’s Centennial Campus
Crystal writes, “I was introduced to Lupus at an early age. As a young girl, I noticed that my mommy was always tired and unable to do the things that mothers do with their children, like go to the mall or attend school functions. It was years after she began to experience symptoms that she was diagnosed with the disease.
“I first participated in the Walk to End Lupus Now in 2011. I walked in support of my mother and those that suffer every day with this disease. Lupus affects more than 45,000 North Carolina residents and 1.5 million Americans, including our co-workers, friends, families, and loved ones. Research on Lupus remains underfunded relative to its scope and devastation. This is why I participate in the Walk. Supporting the Walk provides research, education, and much needed resources. The event also connects the Lupus community and helps bring us one step closer to solving the ‘cruel mystery.‘
"We are always looking for walkers! If you would like to volunteer or donate, please visit my webpage
. With your support, I believe we will one day find a cure that will spare many from the suffering they endure every day.”