Join the Lupus fundrasing walk and fun day?

editorial image

Following on from a very successful event last year, family and friends of Clare McKendry are again hosting a family fun day and 4-mile walk/run on Sunday, May 14 to raise money for the charity Lupus UK.

The Marine Hotel, Ballycastle, once again agreed to be main sponsor for the event and the festivities kick off at 2pm with the walk/run around the town.

Back at the hotel, there will be face painting and balloon modelling kindly provided by Tinkerbelle & Co and Superheroes Belfast are sending Spiderman and Belle (Beauty) to keep the little ones (and not so little ones) entertained.

Music will be provided by DJ Liamoc (Liam O’Connell) and there will be a raffle with some fabulous prizes up for grabs, generously donated by local businesses.

There will also be some mini competitions for the children. Even if you don’t plan to walk, please come along to The Marine Hotel from 2pm to 5pm, join in the festivities and make a donation to Lupus UK.

Those wanting to take part in the walk/run can register in advance via PayPal - claremckendry333@gmail.com. Registration will also take place on Sunday before the walk from 1.30pm. Registration is £20 and includes a Lupus UK T-shirt.

Remember to state what size of t-shirt you need (S,M,L etc). There are also sponsorship sheets available for anyone who is interested in raising additional funds for this very worthwhile charity. These can be obtained by emailing Clare.

Clare explained: “I am delighted with the response to this year’s event and I am hopefully that it will be even better than last years. Over £4,000 was raised last year and the support from the residents and businesses in the Ballycastle and Glens area was overwhelming.

“I’d like to thank the many businesses who have donated prizes for the raffle this year and ask the people of Ballycastle and the surrounding areas to come out again this year on 14 May and give Lupus UK some much need support.”

Clare was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in March 2015 and suffers with chronic pain and fatigue.

She takes multiple tablets every day and has developed problems with her lungs, kidneys and vision.

Lupus is a hidden illness, the sufferer may look fine on the outside, but inside is a very different story.

It is such an unknown illness and Clare and her supporters want to raise awareness of this disease and raise funds to assist with much needed research.

Check out www.lupusuk.org.uk for more information.

What is Lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system produces antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues, causing inflammation and pain. The two main types of Lupus are Discoid Lupus (skin rash) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) which affects joints and organs.

It is a variable and unpredictable condition and may even be life-threatening for people whose vital organs are affected. Careful monitoring of the condition is needed so that potentially serious complications of the disease can be recognized and treated as quickly as possible. There is no cure for Lupus but the disease is most often very treatable and usually responds well to a number of different types of drugs.

Lupus is a disease which can present many different facets, rarely do two people have exactly the same symptoms, and these can vary from just one to many. Below are just some of the more common manifestations of Lupus -

Joint/muscle aches and pains

Permanent rash over cheeks

Extreme fatigue and weakness

Flu-like symptoms and/or night sweats

Weight gain or loss

Increased risk to miscarriage

Inflammation of the tissues covering internal organs with associated chest and/or abdominal pain

Seizures, mental illness or other cerebral problems

Headaches, migraine

Kidney problems

Oral/nasal ulcers

Hair loss

Depression

Lupus is often triggered in people where there is family history of lupus and/or other immune system illnesses such as arthritis, MS and rheumatism. Lupus worldwide is more prevalent than leukemia, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis. Afro-Caribbeans, Asians and Far Eastern races are more prone to having lupus.

Females are 9 times more likely to suffer from SLE Lupus than males.

Lupus is neither infectious nor contagious.