KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — A group got together on Saturday morning to walk and raise awareness for Lupus. 

Across the country, it is estimated that the Lupus disease impacts 1.5 million Americans.

“Our motto is, we have lupus. Lupus, does not have us,” Ida Carson, organizer of Winning Warriors for Lupus said.

The women are warriors, which walked together at Delco Park in Kettering. 

“The most important activity that we can do is to bring the awareness to the community,” Carson said. 

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation and pain anywhere in the body. It attacks a person’s tissues and organs. The disease mostly affects women and is two to three times more prevalent in minority groups. 

Saturday’s walk brought together people who not only experience lupus themselves, but those who have loved ones impacted by the disease.  

“It’s just nice to see friendly faces, and have a group of people that understand and know all that it means to have lupus,” Lupus Warrior Tracea Kidney said.

The warriors say that they are more than just a support group. They have become family and having this work just brings them closer together.”> 

“This is a family. We’re not just a group of women. We are a family,” Lupus Warrior Rebecca Kendrick said.

All proceeds from Saturday’s walk went directly to Winning Warriors members to help them cover Lupus-related expenses like medication, medical supplies and transportation to and from appointments. 

The Winning Warriors meet every other week over Zoom to support and lift up one another. 

“I’m very thankful for my second family. This is my other family. And sometimes you love them more than you love the other ones. But that’s all right,” Lupus Warrior Damita Mahone said.