2021 WALK TO END LUPUS NOW
Date: October 16, 2021
Location: Virtual Event
(More information TBD)
Click "JOIN MALAYA'S TEAM" to
1) be a team fundraiser and help Malaya raise funds for the Lupus Foundation of America (you can also make an individual donation, if you wish, from this link),
2) walk with Malaya. If you want to walk (virtually) on October 16, please click “Join Malaya's Team" instead of clicking "Donate Now." The link will still give you an option of making an individual donation, if you wish.
Click "DONATE NOW" to
1) make a donation, if you want to support Malaya and the Lupus Foundation of America but are not able to participate in the walk and are not able to commit to fundraising.
Welcome, Family and Friends!
Like all kids, I thought I was invincible and had full command of everything I did. I excelled in school, was on my high school softball and weightlifting teams, and competed in badminton and wushu kung-fu with my competition teams outside of school. I was full of energy and was eager to conquer anything life presented me. But shortly before Thanksgiving 2018, I was unexpectedly faced with a challenge that seemed unsurmountable—an unknown disease had knocked me off my feet.
I woke up one morning in considerable pain and unable to walk. I noticed that my hands and feet had swelled twice their normal size, and I was sweating profusely. My parents rushed me to urgent care after confirming I had a fever over 102. After two subsequent visits to urgent care, I was finally referred to a pediatric rheumatologist. She sent me to the lab to get eleven x-rays, and to have twelve vials of blood drawn. I was shocked to see so much of my blood going into the test tubes! With extreme reservation and trepidation, I asked the nurse, “Will I still have enough blood? Am I going to die?!” It was a silly thought, but fear had set in. A week later, test results confirmed my doctor’s suspicions—I have lupus.
I experience occasional pain, nausea, high fevers, and fatigue every now and then, but I am resolute and will remain strong, positive, and full of energy. I get once weekly injections of an immunosuppresive drug typically used to treat patients undergoing chemotherapy, and I take five other drugs daily to keep my symptoms in check. I had to stop participating in my extracurricular sports because rheumatoid arthritis, a secondary disease to lupus, precludes me from gripping the heavy barbell in weightlifting, and grasping the bat, racquet, and fighting staff, in softball, badminton, and wushu kung fu, respectively. I also have to limit my sun exposure to prevent flare-ups, so outdoor sports participation is no longer an option for me. I do, however, still keep in shape and run in the evenings. This disease is not going to change me, ruin my day, or slow me down.
I have adjusted to life with lupus, and these adjustments are but minor inconveniences. I am still Malaya, the same girl who wakes up every morning with a deep passion for life and an insatiable appetite for learning. I have Papaya Power! (My dad gave me the nickname of Malaya Papaya to help people pronounce my name correctly.)
I formed a Walk to End Lupus Now team--Papaya Power!--to raise money for the Lupus Foundation of America and to help the organization in its efforts to combat Lupus. Please join my team and walk with me on June 6 at the Orange County Great Park, or make a secure online donation today.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems—including the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. People affected with lupus can have times of very active disease, called a flare, and times where the disease is mostly quiet, called remission.https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lupus
Imagine a day when doctors can say, "There is a cure for lupus." Until that day though, there is work to be done. That's why I am taking action in the fight against lupus. Join me as I participate in the Lupus Foundation of America's Walk to End Lupus Now® to raise critical funds for the estimated 1.5 million people living with lupus in the United States.
Will you join my team and help us reach our fundraising goal and support the Foundation's efforts to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus? A generous contribution of $25 or $55 can make a definite impact. What’s more, if your employer offers a Matching Gift Program to employees, you may be able to double your contribution with just a little bit of paperwork. Trust me, it’s worth the effort! Every single dollar counts.
Did you know?
• Lupus is a mysterious and misunderstood autoimmune disease. It strikes without warning, affects each person differently, and has no known causes or cure.
• Lupus symptoms can be severe and highly unpredictable and can damage any organ or tissue, from the skin or joints to the heart or kidneys.
• While lupus can strike anyone at any time, 90% of people living with lupus are women. Women of color are at especially high risk.
• Only one drug has ever been developed and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration specifically to treat the disease.
Together, we can solve the cruel mystery of lupus. Please join my team today!