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Why I Walk?

For TEAMBRAVERLY
Participating in the Walk for Lupus Now Since 2012
Christina Toro

I walk because Lupus has changed my life. and iIt has made me stronger: physically,
emotionally, mentally and spiritually stronger:; all blessings to me. I know this may seem hard
to imagine, especially since because I missed my own baby shower, all first hHolidays with my
daughter London Braverly, 4th of July, my 30th Bbirthday, Halloween and more, but I am in a
much better place because of my struggles with lupus.all the struggles lupus has put me
through.

I was diagnosed with Lupus at age 22. It was very difficult to juggleing school, work, and my
social life and haveing the debilitating disease. Fatigue, body aches, swollen joints and
chronic migraines were just some of the many symptoms I had to deal with. However, Tthrough
the years, I just learned to cope with the pain.

2010 was the most difficult year for me. After I gave giving birth to my first child, I faced many
health complications with my health. My doctors considered me high risk, because I was
pregnant and had lupus. Having lLupus and being pregnant, I was considered "hHigh rRisk".
During my pregnancy, I developed pPre-eclampsia, gGestational diabetes and breathing
problems. Due to these symptoms, at 36 weeks, my doctors I was urged me to have an
emergency C-sSection.

Because of the risks with pregnancy and lLupus, After I gave birth, I became very sick. Within
1 months, I had two surgeries, dozens of blood transfusions and I was transferred in and out
of the Intensive Care Unit ICU. In the next few months, my kidneys started to were failing, and I
began to have seizures, pPneumonia and, cChicken pPox. After the final surgery, things took a
turn for the worse, and I was intubated for two weeks. In five months, I was transferred to two
other medical centers and was in and out of rRehabilitation.

Comment [c1]: Eliminate passive voice?

Might not be necessary for a blog?
Comment [c2]: Eliminate passive voice
Comment [c3]: Some people might not know
what the acronym stands for
Comment [c4]: Incubated?
I thought my life would be different when I made it home. I had was always been self- reliant,
but things were different now., Bbeing hospitalized for so long left me weak and unable to
stand or walk without assistance. I could barely carry my daughter, feed her or change my
daughtersher diapers. I became depressed, bitter, helpless and hopeless,; and for I still faced
even more health challenges, and along with my health, finances, relationships and friendships.

Exercise, eating healthy, being positive and staying focused has always been recommended, but
a challenge for me to implement. In the past, I would start a healthy regimen and would run
into even more obstacles. There were more bad days than good days., bBody aches, fatigue,
headaches, car problems, financial and& family conflicts, you name it, I faced it. I played the
cards I was dealt.

I' have learned to take things day- by- day and set goals for myself. I' have been participating in
the Walk for Lupus Now since 2012. One of my goals is to run a Marathon in 2015. I still have
a great deal of work ahead of me, but I finally feel in control of my life and my health. I am at a
place in my life where my health, happiness and my daughter are my only priorities. Everyone
says I beat the odds and I know this! I have always had a envisioned of myself as a strong
woman. I know I can do this., I can beat this disease!

My mom, dad, boyfriend, brother and& sister- in- law just to name a few, are a huge part of my
support system, without them I don't know where I would be. I am so thankful and blessed to
have a family who cares for my well-being and supports me throughout my trials and
tribulations. This is my story; this is why I walk for Lupus! For myself and my daughter,
#TEAMBRAVERLY

No one likes to ask for money, but our tough reality is that the cruel mystery of lupus needs
funds for research, education and advocacy. Think about if any of the following tips make sense
for you. Trying even one of them will make a difference.

Comment [c5]: By who?
Comment [c6]: A subhead here might be helpful
to help introduce the transition
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TIPS FOR FUNRAISING SUCCESS

Customize your page - tell your story; send your link to ALL friends, family, neighbors, customers,
vendors. People give to people. You will raise funds and immense awareness and inspire others! Be bold;
be proud, we must be relentless in our fight as lupus is relentless for so many.

ASK, everyone, everywhere and ASK again! - people are busy, our top walkers state; those who are
closest to you often give last, simply because they plan to; they need reminders, ask again.

ASK your closest contacts to forward your email to their contacts - you will be amazed how many are
touched by lupus and they will add to your personal goal and team. And you will raise even more
awareness.

Recruit a co-captain, get senior management involved. ASK, you will be amazed who cares recruit
a family member/friend, recruit different team captains for each work department, create competition
between departments!

Name your team and set a goal - strive to recruit 10 walkers each raising, $10 your already you are
already at $100; 10 walkers each raising, $100; youre already at $1,000! Dont forget to increase your
team and walker goals if you exceed your goal! People are more likely to give to YOU, if you have not
reached your goal! The average donor gives $25. When asking, dont be afraid to ask for the average
amount.

Use Facebook and Twitter - recruit and thank your donors along the way! A hugelyvaluable tool in todays
world.

COMMUNICATE/MOTIVATE YOUR WALKERS AND TEAM!

Send regular updates. Motivate your walkers and team with prizes - ask local restaurants for gift cards,
hotel trips, vacation stays, donated sports tickets, any items you can secure! Create competition; people
will work to WIN.

Hold a Team Kick Off free food is key! Ice cream social, share a personal story, use our walk video, call
for a copy!

Ask for donations on pay day - and also sponsor yourself. Ask at least one big vendor with your company
to contribute at least $50.

Matching Gifts Check with your company, remind your donors to apply for matching gifts at their
companies!

Make Walk Day Fun Have a team picnic, bring a tent, enjoy entertainment and food!

Design YOUR team t-shirt - make this a prize, for your walkers who raise at least $25 - $50. Sell
sponsorships to help cover your costs e.g. for $50 - $200 to local business, place their logo on your t-shirt.





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