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Local family helps raise funds for lupus research, treatment

For several months, Britt and Erica Shedd of Thomson have been on a heartfelt mission to help raise money for the Georgia Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body.

In 2004, after months of experiencing symptoms such as extreme weight loss, joint and muscle pain and hair loss, Britt was diagnosed with lupus.

The Shedds reached out to the Lupus Foundation of America, where they found advice, answers, support, hope and more. They discovered that 55,000 men, women and children in Georgia battle the disease.

This year, the Georgia Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America will hold its fifth annual Walk for Lupus Now, a 1.5-mile walk to raise funds and awareness, on April 30 at Piedmont Park in Atlanta.

Thousands of walkers in family or corporate teams from across the state will help to raise $250,000.

Britt and Erica have formed a team, Walking By Faith, which consists of 22 friends and family members.

Britt, Loraine Huntt-Miller and Jessie Thompson are the "Faces of Hope" this year.

They are featured in the Lupus Now magazine, on all Walk for Lupus Now materials, on billboards throughout the Atlanta area and in the April 11 issue of People magazine.

The Shedds and their family and friends have had several fundraisers and have placed collection cans in businesses around town, including Sweet T's, Little G's, Habañeros Mexican Grill, Steel Magnolia Beauty Shop, Cut & Style, Long Term Care, Moye Pharmacy and Double D Gun & Pawn.

Ninety percent of every dollar donated to the Georgia Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America stays in Georgia and will be used to improve the diagnosis and treatment of lupus.

The chapter provides the funds for research to find causes, new medications and a cure. It also provides these individuals and their families with support.

For more information about lupus and the Georgia Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America, visit To donate to team Walking By Faith, go to http://lupuswalkat or visit any of the businesses previously listed.

Web posted on Thursday, April 14, 2011

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