Hermanas walk united against lupus

In Features
Courtesy of Lupuswalk.org

When a good cause is at stake, the girls of Hermanas Unidas at Cal State Fullerton are there to contribute their time and support.

Hermanas Unidas, a close-knit group, who are also affiliated at other campuses such as Cal State Long Beach, heard about a fellow Hermana with a cause and decided to get involve to show support.

The group’s new mission was to help support a lupus walk in honor of their Hermana and others who have been diagnosed with the disease.

Lupus attacks the immune system by preventing it from distinguishing between healthy and damaged tissue, causing inflammation and pain to various parts of the body.

Angelica Rodriguez, 24, communication studies major at CSULB and an affiliate of Hermanas Unidas, and the one who started the idea of joining the walk, was diagnosed with lupus in September 2007.

By word-of-mouth, CSUF’s Hermanas Unidas heard about Rodriguez and more than willingly decided to give their support for the walk by either signing up to participate in the walk or making a contribution to the lupus foundation to help raise awareness.

Jennifer Perez, 22, a political science major, said her fellow hermanas “were kind of just doing this walk to help her raise funds and raise awareness on the issue.”

Rodriguez decided to research her disease and wanted to get involved to help raise awareness for the disease.

“I basically researched about it and found a national website” said Rodriguez.

She had heard about the walk before but something had always come up around the time she wanted to participate.

Rodriguez said she was originally going to do the walk alone but then she got other girls in the organization to join her.

Vanessa Sanchez, 21, a child and adolescent studies major, is one Hermana who is unable to attend the walk.

However, she mentioned her organization is passing along a donation box at their next meeting.

“There’s a box being passed around where we could donate” said Sanchez. “Every cent counts.”

For one member of the CSUF branch, this cause hits close to home.

Lizeth Arroyo, 21, a public administration major, knows what it feels like to deal with a family member who has been diagnosed with lupus.

“My mom was diagnosed with it 8 years ago. I also had a neighbor, childhood friend that was diagnosed with it at an early age and passed away at the age of 10,” said Arroyo.

“It’s a disease that affects various parts of the body, it can affect the blood, bones, certain organs,” Arroyo said.

Hermanas Unidas group members are not mandated to participate in the lupus event.

However, the sense of friendship and support throughout the organization is what motivates the girls to help out a fellow Hermana, even if she is from another school.

The walk is Saturday, Sept. 29, at Exposition Park in Los Angeles.  For more information on the walk, the lupus organization has their own website at Lupus.org.

Perez added that anyone could sign up as a group or organization, or an individual walker.

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