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Opinion

UW-River Falls softball team to hold ‘Hit for Lupus’ benefit over weekend

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April 14, 2010

On Saturday, April 17th, the UW-River Falls softball team will be hosting “Hit For Lupus.”

This event will be held in order to raise awareness of the disease that affects an estimated 1.4 million people.

The Falcons will take on UW-Platteville in a doubleheader with the opening pitch at 3:00. This event is being put forth by current Falcon softball player, junior shortstop Dana Book.

The event takes on a more special purpose, as Dana’s mom, Lorri, has had the disease since she was 13 years old.

According to the UWRF Athletics Web site, “Lupus is a chronic autoimmune connective tissue disease that can affect any part of the body.

As occurs in other autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body’s cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage.

It most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness (called flares) alternating with remissions.

The disease occurs nine times more often in women than in men, especially between the ages of 15 and 50, and is more common in those of non-European descent. 

There is also no known cure for the disease.” This special cause was headed by Dana to raise awareness and to inform more people about the Lupus Foundation.

All funds raised during the event will be given to the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota.

This event will serve to help those who are currently living with Lupus, as well as to further the research to find a cure. 

It will also be a time to celebrate the struggles that Lorri has overcome. “The doctors had a hard time in the diagnosis,” explained Dana. “Mom has had two strokes, two heart attacks and several seizures.

Because of the strokes she has lost the use of her right arm – but Mom taught herself to do things with her left arm.” Lorri has been forced to use her left arm since 2004.

“Mom can’t always make it to the games – I wanted to do something to help fight the disease. I just want to raise some money for the Minnesota Lupus Foundation and help raise awareness of the disease,” said Dana.  

Studies show that nationwide there are over 16,000 new cases annually, according to the “Hit for Lupus” flyer. If you are interested in helping the Lupus Foundation but can’t make the games there will be t-shirts sold for $10 at the Knowles center beginning this week.

Anyone who donates to the Foundation will receive a coupon for a free box of popcorn. Lorri will be tossing the ceremonial first pitch at the Ramer Field, which is located behind the Knowles Center.

For more information about “Hit For Lupus,” the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota or to hear more about Lorri and Dana’s story, visit the UWRF Athletics Web site.

Ashley Goettl is an alumna of UW-River Falls. She was editor of the Student Voice from fall semester 2011 to spring semester 2013.