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Third Annual Walk for Lupus Now Washington Set for April 18

WASHINGTON, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The 3rd Annual Walk for Lupus Now Washington will occur on Saturday, April 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. between 13th and 3rd Streets. The Lupus Foundation of America Greater Washington Chapter (LFAGW) chapter expects this year's turnout to double, reflective of the 70,000+ people with lupus in the Washington area out of more than 1.5 million in the U.S. Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease with no known cure that can damage any part of the body including the skin, joints, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys and the brain. There is no fee to walk. To register: All LFAGW educational workshops and services are provided free through the funds raised by the Walk for Lupus Now.

Walk Video: view/download

"Human Genome Sciences is dedicated to advancing the treatment of lupus through innovative science and research of potential new drugs," said Vivian Fernandez, senior manager, medical affairs, Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (HGS), Rockville, Md., a founding walk sponsor currently developing LymphoStat-B for lupus.

"It's hard to believe it's been 50 years since a drug has been approved by the FDA for this chronic, life-threatening disease," she said. "HGS is proud to support and participate again this year. We look forward to walking with our friends and families to show our support for those living with lupus. Hats off to the LFAGW for their commitment to provide great resources and services all at no charge to the lupus community."

Walk Co-Chair Jean-Marie Leonard said that support continues to double, raising $55,000 in 2007 and $155,000 last year with 1,000 walkers. Leonard said that the 2009 goal is $225,000 with an expected 2,000 walkers.

"The funds raised go to help those in our area, and the need is growing," said Leonard. "The Walk for Lupus Now is the one event where those affected by Lupus in our area have a single voice and the energy is amazing. We are here, there are a lot of us and we need help," she said.

Women have the highest risk for developing lupus, especially African American, Hispanic and Native American women.

In addition to HGS, the 2009 Walk sponsors include ABC News Channel 7, Assurant Health, Datatel, News Channel 8, Telemundo, Unisys, Sapient and The Washington Informer.

SOURCE The Lupus Foundation of America Greater Washington
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