The fourth installment of Lupus Spiel USA was held at Fogerty Arena and Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine from May 12-14.
The largest tournament of its kind included Olympians and Olympic-hopefuls curling with “amateur” curlers. The amateurs are curlers of any level and the pros consist of curlers with Olympic experience or have curled at the world level.
The amateurs sign up and once a base entry fee is paid, they raise money to be able to pick their celebrity “skip”, or team captain. The funds will be used for lupus research and raising awareness about the disease.
Regan Birr, who has lupus, created the event.
Some of the celebrity skips included Olympians Jessica Schultz (2006, 2014), Courtney George (2006), John Benton (2010), Jason Smith (2010) and John Gordon (1998, 2002).
The event brought in more than $60,ooo and are still hoping to get to $70,ooo. Donations are still welcome at www.facebook.com/LupusSpielUSA
All proceeds go to the newly-formed Lupus research Foundation. Its mandate is to raise funds for lupus research and to raise awareness.
Regan Birr, creator of the spiel, said, “as a lupus patient, my focus is to find a cure. Therefore, our foundation’s goal is to provide as much funding to research as possible. I and my lupus-patient friends want to see an end to this disease, so that other young women don’t have to go through what we went through”.
The key is early detection and proper treatment. The LRF researchers are committed to working on genetics and therefore detection mechanisms, as well as, in partnership with drug companies, new and effective treatments.
“That,” said Birr, “is the way to the cure. Our researchers are collaborative and progressive. A cure is within 10 years, just a stone’s throw away.”