Leading the way to a cure

Lupus Research Update: 2008 Volume 1

Volume 1, 2008 - Online Edition | In This Issue

ALR Funded International Consortium Identifies Genes Linked to Lupus >
The Faces of Lupus: Eddie Kennison, Kansas City Chiefs >
Meet the Investigator — Mary K. Crow, M.D., Named Chair of Scientific Advisory Board >
Research Results — A New Clue in the Survival of Autoimmune B Cells >
Research Results — Narrowing Down a Lupus-Related Gene >
Research Results — Finding Hidden Clues to Children's Lupus Nephritis >
Research Results — Finding Ways to a Safer Pregnancy for Women with Lupus >
Drug Research and Development News >
Leaving a Legacy >

The Faces of Lupus: Eddie Kennison, Kansas City Chiefs

Q: What is your connection to lupus?

A: My wife, Shimika, was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in 2003 while pregnant with our second child. She suffered through several years of unexplained conditions including joint pain, rashes, chronic fatigue and infections before her diagnosis. Since then, she has had many setbacks, including side effects from aggressive prescription therapy and a stroke. Thankfully, she has been able to regain normal function and speech and is now in remission.Eddie and Shimika Kennison

Q: How did you become involved with the ALR?

A: Shortly after Shimika's diagnosis, we established Quick Start-The Eddie Kennison Foundation for lupus education. We made it one of our personal goals to do whatever we could to find a cure for lupus, to raise lupus awarenessand to give back through our scholarship program. In 2004, we met with the ALR's chairman, Woody Johnson IV. After hearing how lupus affected his family, learning about the establishment and mission of the ALR, and learning that 100 percent of contributions to the ALR go to support lupus research programs, we knew this was an organization we wanted to partner with.

>Q: How do you support the ALR?

A: QuickStart-The Eddie Kennison Foundation supports the ALR by hosting events in the Kansas City area, including our major fundraising gala, Showtime! Changing Lives in Style. The evening is full of food, fun and fashion and includes many of my teammates from the Kansas City Chiefs. We also co-chair the ALR's annual Kansas City Walk with Us to Cure Lupus walkathon. Other events included a Rewind Retro Party, Morton's Wine Tasting & Auction, golf outings, dinner parties and speaking engagements.

Plans are currently underway to hold a fundraising event this summer at our new business, Entourage Institute of Beauty & Esthetics in Overland Park, Kansas. As another way of giving back, Shimika is offering a complimentary "day of beauty" at the school for people with lupus who might not otherwise have the ability to enjoy such a treat. We also hope to establish an ALR Walk or other event in our home state of Louisiana.

Q: Why do you support the ALR?

A: Knowing how close Shimika came to losing her own battle with this disease gives us more motivation and determination to champion the cause of the ALR. The ALR's researchers are very close to making huge improvements in the lives of those living with lupus. However, there is still no cure. Until there is, we will not give up!

1.5 million

people in the U.S. have Lupus.

172 million

dollars committed to lupus research by the Lupus Research Alliance.

We're walking across the United States to raise awareness and funds for lupus research.


Show your support by visiting the Lupus Research Alliance online store. Discover the perfect gift, or prepare for a walk with our selection of apparel and accessories.

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