Thousands of people in Los Angeles are gathering on Saturday, September 22, for the Walk to End Lupus Now, and The Young and the Restless' Kate Linder (Esther Valentine) has been named Grand Marshal for the life-changing event. Sharon Tay, CBS2/KCAL9 anchor, is set to emcee the ceremony.
Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when a body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. The Walk to End Lupus Now brings communities together to raise money for lupus research, increase awareness of lupus, and rally public support for those who suffer from the brutal and life-threatening impact of lupus. Lupus has no known cause and no known cure, but affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans and is a leading cause of death among young women.
"Lupus is a disease that has touched my family," Linder shares. "My sister-in-law was diagnosed with lupus 18 years ago, and I have seen firsthand how it's affected her everyday life. Despite its devastating impact, awareness of lupus has remained low and funding for research is not enough. That's why it's so important for our communities to come together at events like the Walk to End Lupus Now to not only show our support for all lupus warriors, but to raise funds for research so that we can develop better treatments and find a cure."
This year's Lupus Foundation of America's walks are based on the theme Be Powerful, with each walk recognizing the strength of those affected by lupus and the power their communities have in supporting lupus research, awareness, and resources. The L.A. walk will offer a family-friendly experience with activities, games for kids, and entertainment leading up to the walk. It will also welcome special guests including Kazy Tauginas, actor and rising star in The Equalizer 2, whose mom has lived with lupus for more than 40 years.
Lupus currently has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. It is a debilitating and destructive disease that can be fatal, yet research on lupus remains underfunded relative to diseases of similar scope and devastation.
"Let's put an end to this cruel disease," Linder wrote on Twitter. "Join me at the event on September 22."
I'm excited to be joining @lupusorg as Grand Marshal at the 2018 LA #WalkToEndLupusNow. Let's put an end to this cruel disease join me at the event on Sept. 22! #WTELNLA https://t.co/gjvxfLKhgT pic.twitter.com/kRjB2BUzTb- KATE LINDER (@KATELINDER) August 22, 2018
To learn more, register for the walk, or make a donation, visit the Walk to End Lupus' official website.
Linder joined the cast of Y&R in 1982 and has played the role of Esther since that time. In addition to helping support lupus research, she is the national spokesperson for the ALS Association and is active with TV Cares, ATAS's AIDS fundraising and awareness organization, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and she is a national spokesperson for March of Dimes Canada's Conductive Education Program.
What do you think about Linder being named Grand Marshal of this year's Walk to End Lupus Now? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.