PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Lupus is an unpredictable disease and can be deadly, but most people don’t know what it is.
Professional soccer player Shannon Boxx hopes to change that. She’s encouraging everyone to join the Walk to End Lupus Now at Oaks Amusement park this month.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can damage any part of your body. Common symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, headaches and rashes that can strike at any time and can lead patients to feel very alone.
“The crazy thing about lupus is that it can strike at any moment, you’re very unaware of it and it affects everybody differently,” Boxx said.
She said the Walk to End Lupus Now is a great support system.
“These walks really have given me a place to go and feel like I’m not by myself dealing with this and that there are other people going through the same things that I’m going through,” Boxx told KOIN 6.
Boxx said she hid her symptoms from her coach while playing professionally.
“I hid it from my job because as a soccer player, to tell your coach that you have extreme fatigue, but you have these flares that you don’t know when they’re going to come, that could ruin your job. So I kept it very quiet, which is what a lot of patients and a lot of people with lupus do,” she said.
The Walk to End Lupus Now is Saturday September 28 at 9 a.m.
There’s still time to register to walk and help the local chapter reach their $30,000 fundraising goal for research.