Every fall, the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota hosts a Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Run in various cities throughout Minnesota as an opportunity to raise public awareness and show support for those with lupus. Chris Cronick, 2013 LFM ambassador, had the opportunity to attend the first of three walks this past Saturday in Minneapolis, MN. Chris shares her heartfelt appreciation for the support and education stemming from the first community event highlighting lupus.
We just wrapped up the 16th annual Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Run/Walk here in the Twin Cities last weekend. Since its inception in 1998, the Lupus Walk for Hope has generated over a half a million dollars that has gone directly to fund lupus research. The event was a huge success with record breaking attendance of over 1,000 runners and walkers. Many smiling faces, lots of camaraderie, positive energy flowed, and everyone donned purple for lupus awareness. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who participated. I was amazed at the love and support I felt that day. It’s definitely an experience I will never forget.
It was an absolutely perfect day. Festivities started at 9 a.m. with crispness in the air that reminded me fall is definitely here. It was about 50 degrees with a cool breeze and the sun brightly shinning. As you may have read in my last post about having lupus, as much as I love a beautiful day, the sun isn’t necessarily my BFF. We have a love/hate relationship.
Since being diagnosed with lupus, I need to strategize my game-plan for each day when it comes to sun exposure. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that attacks all sorts of organs in your body, including the largest organ, the skin. Aside from the sun causing a flare, approximately two-thirds of people with lupus will develop a type of skin disease called cutaneous lupus erythematous. Skin disease in lupus may cause rashes or sores (lesions), most of which will appear on sun-exposed areas such as the face, ears, neck, arms and legs. A high percentage of people find their disease is aggravated after being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight or artificial light.
Thankfully, we can take preventative measures to stay sun safe outdoors:
• Seek shade, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Wear sun-protective clothing and broad-brimmed hats
• Use plenty of broad-spectrum sunscreen, with at least SPF 30
The walk was held at French Regional Park in Plymouth, MN. Luckily, a well-shaded pavilion area was nestled right in the middle of the park. The walking trails were also covered with beautiful, large trees, so my husband Patrick and I both were able to stay out of the sun for a large portion of the day. When we were in the sun, we used sunscreen and wore our Coolibar clothes.
I took the layered approach and wore the women’s Fitness Jacket over the Vera Resort T-Shirt. He wore the men’s Fitness Jacket with his LFM running t-shirt and the men’s Fitness Pants. My team also sported purple feather boas and butterfly bandanas, Cronick’s Chronic Crue signature accessories. The clothes were absolutely perfect for the weather and occasion — light-weight, protective and comfortable. These items are our favorites.
Chris Cronick – LFM Ambassador