WASHINGTON, D.C. — Local Lupus “thriver” and advocate Barbi Manchester has been named the inaugural winner for the Lupus Foundation of America’s (LFA) “One Mission Award” in the Education, Support & Advocacy category.
“Barbi was nominated by NC CEO Christine John-Fuller, who was impressed by this young woman as she and her family pounded the pavement of Capitol Hill urging members of Congress to support federal funding for lupus research,” said Kirs Hoagland, senior development of network development of the National Lupus Foundation of America.
Hoagland said John-Fuller was surprised to find out Manchester had spent three years on her high school football team, and as a senior was ranked seventh out of 400 high school place kickers in the state, and was later honored with the Governor’s Award for Women in Sports.
“Lupus has been unrelenting to her over the years, from hair loss to hearing loss, from heart complications to severe pain, but it has yet to wipe the smile off her face and the determination off her brow,” Hoagland said. “Over the years, Barbi has spoken to countless civic organizations about lupus awareness. And as if this was not enough, she decided to add fundraiser to her list of efforts for the chapter by starting a community organized lupus walk in her hometown. In its first two years, her walk has raised nearly $60,000, an amount that does not include the income from the other annual fundraisers she now organizes.
“It doesn’t matter whether she’s rounding up her community to participate in Put On Purple or simply attending one of her son’s activities,” said Hoagland. “Barbi Manchester always represents the lupus community as a poignant example of not only the truth of being diagnosed with lupus, but also the beauty of living in spite of it.”
Capping off four years of work raising money and awareness for lupus has also earned Manchester’s “Mayberry Kicking Lupus Incorporated” non-profit group recognition from the Department of Secretary of State. The website for the group is mayberrykickinglupus.com, its email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or interested persons may call 336-505-8773 for more information.
Upcoming lupus events include:
•Sept. 5 : Third Annual Kick Out Lupus Extra Point Kick Event at Mount Airy High School Football Field at 7 p.m. During half-time of the football game participants will have the opportunity to go down on the field and try kicking an extra point or field goal for $1 per kick. Kickers receive a small football with a “Kick Lupus” logo.
•Saturday, Sept. 6. Fourth Annual Mayberry’s Butterfly Walk for Lupus at Mount Airy High School Football Stadium. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m.
•Saturday, Sept. 6. First Annual Mayberry Kicking Lupus Kickball Tournament at Mount Airy High School Softball Field. Registration beginas at 9 a.m. and play starts at 10 a.m. The winning school receives a large trophy to display for a year as well as individual medals to winning team members.
• Oct. 31, Second Annual Kids Spook Lupus Halloween Carnival at Central Methodist Child Care Center at 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring a hot dog dinner, games, jump houses and exhibits from the Mount Airy Fire and Police Departments.