Walk for Lupus Now this Saturday - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Walk for Lupus Now this Saturday

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Most of you have heard of lupus, but don't know much about it. Neither did Samantha Schuss, until she was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease. Now she knows that lupus is chronic, painful and can damage virtually any part of her body.

Samantha, 23, was diagnosed with lupus earlier this year, and she thinks it may have been fate.

"Lupus in Latin means wolf. My middle name, Zeva, in Hebrew, means wolf," she said.

Research indicates the disease may be genetic, but hasn't pinpointed the cause. If you have Lupus, your immune system basically attacks your own body, and it affects those with it in numerous, painful ways.

"With me, mostly it was my joints. My skin, my muscles, fatigue, always tired. There are days I couldn't walk. All my joints were just red, swollen. Really painful," she said. "Sometimes they'll go years and years without knowing they have it until it reaches severe degrees. I never really understood how much pain I was in until I started treatment."

Like many others, before she was diagnosed with lupus, Samantha knew almost nothing about it, but now she knows all about it, and knows there's support.

This year's Walk for Lupus Now is coming up on Saturday, April 30, an effort to raise funds to fight the disease, as well as raise awareness. Samantha will be there, and says the walk will be good for her health and her spirits.

"We might be able to find a cure, and to me that's important because it's my life now. If we could find a cure, that would be a wonderful thing," she said.

It's estimated about 1.5 million Americans have lupus, and you can help them out. Join Samantha and News 8's Carlo Cecchetto for the Walk for Lupus Now this Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at DeAnza Cove.

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