The Walk for Lupus Awareness and Dine & Donate for Lupus offer chances to contribute to the cause

by: ILDIKO ARNDT; WHITE LION PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGN - Molly McCabe, co-founder of Molly's Fund, talks about her experience with lupus at a press conference on Friday.Molly McCabe, who was diagnosed with lupus seven years ago at age 27, had to visit 14 doctors before she received the correct diagnosis.

Once she finally knew which disease was causing her symptoms, however, her subsequent visits to health-related websites offered her no encouragement.

“I was scared literally to death,” McCabe says. “Every website said I was going to die.”

After seven years, McCabe has learned she can “live a long and productive life,” but her experience with lupus and the lack of awareness about this disease led her and her mother, Debbie McCabe, to establish the nonprofit organization Molly’s Fund.

On Friday, Molly’s Fund took another step forward as it unveiled a new website that will provide comprehensive information about an incurable illness that affects more people than muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, leukemia and cystic fibrosis combined. The website launch coincides with a three-state media campaign in print and on airwaves that will raise awareness about lupus and advocate for the rights of lupus patients in the Northwest. The campaign includes a special insert to be published in the Portland Tribune May 9.

The two McCabes and other supporters of Molly’s Fund presented the website and plans for the media campaign at a press conference at Clear Channel’s offices in Tigard on Friday. Molly McCabe told the group that one purpose of the campaign is to let women with lupus know that, while there is no cure as yet, “there is hope.”

To that end, the new website ( includes a section entitled “Stories of Hope,” where women who are dealing with lupus can share their experiences and offer support to each other. A typical example is Jaime Gault, the mother of two boys who was diagnosed with lupus five years ago.

“It’s so easy to get depressed over all the things that lupus has taken away from you,” she says, “but if you focus on all the blessings you still have, the days are easier to get through.”

The website and upcoming media campaign also promote ways to get involved with Molly’s Fund in May, which is Lupus Awareness Month in Oregon. Two local opportunities are:

• Butterflies in the Park – A Walk for Lupus Awareness from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 18, at Oaks Park, 7805 S.E. Oaks Park Way, Portland.

To registers, follow this link:

• Dine & Donate for Lupus, which is happening at various restaurants around the Portland area throughout the month of May. A percentage of the price of each meal will go directly to Molly’s Fund.

For a list or participating restaurants, follow this link:

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