While you may have some understanding of what lupus is, or seen someone with it in a movie or TV show — who could forget model Mercedes and her journey during cycle 2 of America’s Next Top Model — there’s a lot that people are still hoping to discover about the chronic autoimmune disease that will hopefully decrease flares and make remission permanent.
That’s where the Lupus Research Alliance comes in, a nongovernmental, nonprofit funder of worldwide lupus research. From putting together a diverse team of scientific talent that collaborate in discovering better diagnostics, to raising funding for tools that will ultimately treat and one day cure lupus, the LRA has done its due diligence in fighting the good fight since 2016.
We witnessed this firsthand last night (November 20) at their annual “Breaking Through” gala event in NYC, which was emceed by Black and beautiful journalist, not to mention accomplished daytime diva, Tamron Hall.
This year, the “Breaking Through” Gala was able to raise an impressive $2 million for lupus research, as guests were able to donate directly either from their phones or the tablets placed at dinner tables in the decadently decked-out Ziegfeld Ballroom. From an astounding opening performance by Sony Music recording artist, pianist, composer and producer Chloe Flower, to Tamron bringing her signature jovial energy that brought light to a night with its fair share of tear-jerking moments, the event’s overall message was greatly felt from all levels.
Honorees of the night were Louis A. Shapiro, advisor and former President/CEO of Hospital for Special Surgery, LRA Board member David Kies and his wife Kate. His daughter, Laura Kies Gever, made for one of those aforementioned tear-jerking moments as she detailed how David’s support in her own lupus battle was vital to her survival, stating “he would go to the ends of the earth to make my life better.” He once even flew all the way to Italy to get her special care after her very first emergency flare on a trip as a teenager.
The night was preceded by a special lighting of the iconic Empire State Building in red and purple to honor lupus awareness.
Hall shared with us how her journey with lupus awareness began upon learning about the sister of a good friend who was battling the autoimmune disease. She says, “I didn’t know what lupus was, how it affects your body, how it affects your family and how it impacts the journey. [In] over 30 years of reporting, I’ve learned more about this mystery disease. One woman I had spoken to relayed that she felt that her body had turned its back on her. But because of the wonderful people here, and what the Lupus Research Alliance is doing, no one should feel betrayed by their own body.”
Watch Tamron Hall emcee the Lupus Research Alliance 2023 “Breaking Through” Gala in NYC below, and learn more about how you can help as well by visiting LRA online:
- Join Us At 2018 The Walk To End Lupus Now On April 14!
- Toni Braxton Hospitalized Again With Lupus Complications, Continues With Tour Next Day
- Selena Gomez Checked Herself Into Rehab Earlier This Month
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