Local News

Couple holds walk for lupus awareness

Posted April 17, 2009 8:22 p.m. EDT
Updated April 17, 2009 8:26 p.m. EDT

— Cathy Ellington prefers spring over winter any day. It's not just a seasonal preference, but the result of 27 years with lupus.

“I take quite a bit of medication every day and with mine, a lot of it's weather related. I don't do as well in the cold,” Ellington said.

Ellington and her husband Howard are taking their fight against lupus to the streets of Raleigh.

The Ellingtons and their daughter organized the first lupus walk in the capital city to raise awareness and money for research.

The autoimmune disease can attack any joint, organ of the body or the skin. Of the 1.5 million people with the disease, 90 percent are women.

“Lupus is a disease that can affect absolutely any part of the body…with inflammation and the potential for damage,” UNC rheumatologist Dr. Nortin Hadler said.

For Ellington, lupus affects her skin, joints and lungs.

Different medications treat individual symptoms, but no new drug has been developed to treat the disease in 50 years. Research may soon find a way to stop the disease before it can damage organs.

“There’s every reason to support research in the lupus research community and every reason to be hopeful that we will all see in the not to distant future important advances,” Hadler said.

“Walk for Lupus Now” is being held Sunday at North Hills. Registration starts at 2 p.m. and the walk begins an hour later.