LAFAYETTE — Diagnosed in 2006 with lupus, Regina Striff, 43, has struggled with the autoimmune disease since.
“I just want there to be a cure some day, that way people don’t have to go through what I’m going through,” Striff said.
Specifically, Striff’s form of lupus is SLE-Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, which has caused various health issues for Striff from breathing, to complications from an unrelated amputation.
Currently, there is no known cure for lupus.
Numerous hospitalizations have resulted in high medical bills and added stress. She’s been in the hospital six times over the past year, she said.
“She’s been struggling with this for many years, but over this past year it’s just gotten worse,” said Linda Louth, a childhood friend.
“She’s had several, several surgeries and there’s more to come … she has fluid around her heart and lungs and it just affects, it seems like, everything,” she said, leading to a potential move to a dryer climate.
Louth and fellow high school classmates have organized a benefit for Striff Saturday at Lafayette Congregational Christian Church, 205 W. Main St.
“I could have never imagined the amount of outpouring support we’ve gotten,” Striff said. The support has come from Lima, Bluffton, Lafayette and other surrounding areas, she said.
The benefit will feature a 5K run/walk for Striff. Registration begins at 9 a.m. with a kick off for the run at 9:30 a.m.
The cost to run is $10 for adults.
A spaghetti dinner will also be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church. During the meal, a raffle will be held as well as hair cutting, face painting and various drawings.
“I just want to raise awareness for lupus, getting the word out there, being there for other people if they need to talk and being there if they have questions,” Striff said.
“She says this event is what keeps her going, just looking forward to this,” Louth said.