Women's Lacrosse Team Raising Awareness for Lupus with "Lacrosse for Lupus"

PROVIDENCE, RI - The Brown women's lacrosse team, which will sponsor several service projects throughout the year, has plans for a major fundraising initiative to benefit the Lupus Foundation. The Bears are hosting two events this spring, beginning with a coaches' clinic on February 21st, to raise awareness and money for the Foundation. Chaired by junior Paris Waterman (Newark, DE), the Lacrosse for Lupus committee and the rest of the team will also sell t-shirts and wear special game jerseys for their Ivy opener against Princeton on March 13th.
The first fundraiser for Lacrosse for Lupus is the Coaches Clinic on February 21st. Six Division I college coaches (Brown, BU, Bryant, Harvard, UNH, and Yale) will be at Brown running a coaches clinic for middle school and high school coaches. All proceeds from the clinic will go to the Lupus Foundation. The clinic flyer can be found online at brownbears.com.

The next event is slated for March 13th, when the Bears host Princeton in their 2010 Ivy opener. The team has a lot of exciting plans slated for the afternoon, including a halftime ceremony honoring all of Brown's former women's lacrosse All-Ivy and Academic All-Ivy players. The Bears will be selling "Lacrosse for Lupus" t-shirts, designed by sophomore Kaela McGilloway (Sea Cliff, NY) and will wear "Lacrosse for Lupus" jerseys, which will be auctioned off following the game. All proceeds from t-shirt sales and the jersey auction will go to the Lupus Foundation.

Committee chair, Paris Waterman, shares her thoughts on the team's Lupus fundraising efforts below:
Why is the team focusing on "Lacrosse for Lupus" this year?
This year we chose to focus on Lupus because we felt like it is a great cause to support. Lupus is a disease that often goes unnoticed or isn't talked about and we thought that we could help change that. We wanted to be able to support a cause by not only fundraising but by also by creating awareness. When I presented the idea of Lupus as our focus for this year I was really happy with the enthusiasm and support I received from my teammates. It is something that is really important to me and something I have a personal connection with. In June 2008 my mother was diagnosed with Lupus and since then I have become more aware of what Lupus is, the effects, its prevalence, and the treatment (or lack thereof). I learned that it is a disease of which the cause is still unknown, over 1.5 million people (men, women, teens, and children) have Lupus and more than 16,000 new cases are reported each year, and that women, particularly women of color, are more likely to develop the disease. However, the most striking discovery I came upon was that there is no cure for Lupus. But even more importantly, it has been over 50 years since a new drug has been introduced to control the symptoms of Lupus primarily because it became a "forgotten" disease, taking a back seat to diseases such as AIDS/HIV and Cancer with regards to funding for research and development. Today my mother is prescribed the same medications that Lupus patients were prescribed in the 1960's and with our efforts as a team this year we hope that we can take strides towards beginning to change that, not only for her, but for the many people across America that are affected by this disease.

What does having "Lacrosse for Lupus" as our 2009 - 2010 main service project mean to you?
Having Lacrosse for Lupus as our main service project gives me a feeling that words can't describe. It's an overwhelming feeling to have the support of my teammates in supporting a cause that is so close to my heart. The energy and time that our team has put into this project is amazing and to know that they really do care and want to make a difference is amazing. It truly is amazing to see the impact that one team can have. Each one of the women on the team is so invested in this project, wholeheartedly cares about this cause, and has taken on this project with such energy, compassion, and hope. I know how strong our team is and with Lacrosse for Lupus, I am confident that we can create change and make a greater impact then we ever expected. I am extremely thankful for my teammates and coaching staff for their dedication to making this project the best it can be and I really think that this will be one of the best projects the Brown Women's Lacrosse team has ever done!