Newswise — The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) in partnership with the Relapsing Polychondritis Awareness & Support Foundation (RPASF) will host the first Bowling Green Autoimmune Walk and “Warriors” 5K Fun Run on Saturday, July 8, at Ephram White Park (885 Mount Olivet Road) to raise awareness and funding for innovative research.  

Participants will Walk a mile or do a 5K Fun Run dressed as their favorite warrior or superhero to honor and support family members, friends and colleagues, and to give hope to the more than 50 million Americans (1 in 5) who are battling autoimmune diseases.

The event also will feature speakers, autoimmune information and resources, a silent auction, and local band, Third Rate Soulmate.  Funds raised will be used to provide patient education and support services, and to fund research aimed at solving the underlying immune issues that link ALL autoimmune disorders. 

“AARDA Autoimmune Walks have proven to be instrumental in raising funds for autoimmune research and extraordinarily helpful in linking patients, families, supporters and advocates together for a shared cause,” says Virginia T. Ladd, president and executive director.  “We link together for a cure.  The camaraderie and synergy that occurs is just tremendous.”

Autoimmune diseases include Lupus, Type 1 Diabetes, Scleroderma, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto’s, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Celiac Disease and more than 100 other debilitating and chronic disorders that have no cure.  Walk Coordinator Linda Vanthournout suffers from Relapsing Polychondritis, a rare autoimmune disease.  

AARDA is the only national nonprofit bringing a national focus to autoimmunity as a category of disease and a major women’s health issue.  To learn more, visit   

To learn more about RPASF, visit


To register for the Walk, or to make a donation, visit 


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