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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Walking In Memory of LaShawnda Haltiwanger

Last February, the UMass Boston community lost LaShawnda Haltiwanger, (class of 2003) to Lupus. LaShawnda, also known as Shawnda, was concentrating in accounting and was active on campus, tutoring and assisting fellow students with their work. She was known for her positive attitude, warm smile and her friendship. Shawnda worked hard and knew the value of a good education. She dreamed of earning a bachelor’s degree and working in the world of accounting.

Shawnda had a courageous 3-year battle with Lupus, a disease which is very prevalent but not very well understood. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects over 500,000 people each year. It can attack any organ system (brain, kidney, heart, joints, etc.). It is not contagious or infectious. “It is more prevalent than Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, and Cystic Fibrosis combined.” (LFA) Symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pain, low-grade fever, swelling, loss of protein, etc. With major organ involvement, the effects of Lupus can result in kidney failure, heart or respiratory failure, or stroke. Some patients require toxic chemotherapeutic medications to control the disease. There is no cure for Lupus at this time and the disease can be potentially fatal without proper treatment. Through medication and a healthy lifestyle, the majority of patients can live productive lives.

Please join TEAM Golden Key and help us honor Shawnda’s memory by participating in the Lupus Walk College Challenge. The 3-mile walk, in conjunction with the Lupus Foundation of Massachusetts Walk on the Charles, will take place on Sunday, September 21st at 9 am, rain or shine. It is a scenic walk along the Charles River that begins and ends at the MDC Park on Soldiers Field Road across from the Boston Skating Club in Brighton, Massachusetts. Proceeds from the walk go to the Lupus Foundation of Massachusetts. Visit www.goldenkey.umb.edu for walk procedures and listing of prizes. Sue Coughlin is a member of the Golden Key Society