Lupus Walk 2011 by Rhonda Roberts

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This is the post Rhonda Roberts posted about our walk. She is the person who coordinated it and made it happen. Hats off to you Rhonda!
 
 I have to start this with one simple word…”WOW” I had a goal 6 years ago to increase Lupus Awarenss..to get support groups in the CIncinnati/Dayton Area..It took 3 years to even get started..Our first Lupus Fundraiser was in 2008…we raised about $4,5…00.00.  Our first Walk For Lupus Now was held in 2009..we raised about $6,500.00.. I had a vision that year that by our fifth annual walk We ould have 300 walkers and raise about $20,000.00. I have been amazed at the growing numbers of walkers registered since February and the increasing dollar amount n the website but NOTHING could prepare me for what I experienced today.. We had walkers arriving at the park before 8:30, registration did not begin until 9am, and they kept coming they were still coming after the walk kicked off at 10am..The VicePresident?General Manager of WDTN , Lisa Barhorst kicked off the walk, she is a Lupus patient, she has kept her Lupus “a secret” few people knew she suffered from Lupus..She told us today that will no longer happen.. she had no idea we had the support for Lupus patients and families that she saw today, she wants to get the station involved with helping us raise LUPUS AWARENESS…This in itself is amazing and a major leap for the Lupus community..But as the walk kicked off I stood and watched Lisa start the walk carrying the butterfly flag, and watched as hundreds of Lupus patients , family and friends followed behind her, they kept coming and coming and coming..needless to say, I was reduced to tears many times today… I saw Lupus patients struggle to make each step, and I saw their families and friends there to hold them up and pickthem up if needed Today we almost reached my 5 year goal of 300 walkers and $20,000.00 but at 3 years, I would have never even considered that a possibility 3 years ago… What I experienced today was a true OUTPOURING of LOVE and SUPPORT. Not only did we raise funds for Lupus education, support and research but we opened a door to increase all of these with our media outlets.  I know with the assistance of Lisa Barhorst and Mike “WILD WALLY” Schneider, Lupus Awareness will be better promoted and The Lupus journey is going to be much less lonly for many patients and families. I always listened to the REBEL it was my favorite radio station, I always wanted to meet this crazy funny man they called WILD WALLY and after doing so today I realized I missed out on a lot by not meeting him sooner, he is a very CARING< COMPASSIONATE,and FUNNY MAN. Thank You MIKE AND THERESA for sharing today with us. Last of all I have to thank all of my family and friends for their help, support, donations, love, and understanding, without all of you we could not hold this walk and I could not take care of my daughter with out all of you reminding me that tomorrow is another day and not all days will be bad ones. Mary Jane and Jim thank you for photographing us all day, MJ I will NEVER be able to repay you for sticking with me through all four years of this . And on that note, I am going to take a nap, Darrell has taken Nikki to the hospital to have her IV of steroids as I have to sleep a little today because we will do chemo tonight and I cannot sleep for fear that something will happen to her, so I lay in the bed with her,my hand on her chest to make sure she is breathing and pray that GOD will help the medications help her. To everyone that made this event possible, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!! Rhonda   See More
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