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Bike Ride Across the U.S. to End Saturday at Folly Beach
Date:9/13/2007

Two College Grads Spend the Summer Pedaling to Raise Awareness of Lupus and

Funds for Lupus Foundation of America

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dylan Trakas of Spartanburg, South Carolina and James Mason of Houston, Texas, two recent college graduates, will end their 15 week journey on Saturday, September 15, at Folly Beach after biking nearly 4,000 miles from Bellingham, Washington to Charleston, South Carolina.

The ride is particularly and personally meaningful to the two bikers because Dylan's mother suffers from lupus. Their goal was to raise awareness of lupus, a debilitating and life-threatening disease which causes the immune system to attack the body's own cells and tissue. Dylan and James also solicited donations and thus far have raised $20,000 for the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. (LFA) for research, education and support services.

Dylan and James began their journey, which they named "Across the lupUS," on June 3. They created a website, http://www.AcrossthelupUS.com, so family and friends could track their progress and make donations as they traveled across the country. Their website includes photos of their adventure and a journal to chronicle the people, places and events they experienced while on the road.

The pair will hold their finish line celebration on Saturday, September 15 at 2:00 p.m. at Folly Beach. A representative of the Lupus Foundation of America will be on hand to welcome them and accept a check representing the proceeds from their ride.

Approximately 1.5 million Americans have a form of lupus -- enough people to fill Johnson Hagood Stadium 71 times. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians and Native Americans develop lupus up to three times more often than Caucasians -- a health disparity that remains unexplained. More information about lupus and the LFA is available on the Foundation's website, http://www.lupus.org.

There is no cure for lupus and it has been nearly 40 years since a new treatment was approved by the FDA specifically for lupus. Funds are continuously needed to help support research. Dylan and James are making a difference in that fight through their ride across America.


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SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.
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