“Six in the Sticks” is a six-kilometre Walk/Run taking place starting at the Vankleek Hill fairgrounds on Sunday, August 19, starting at 9 a.m.. This year, the run is a fundraiser for Lupus Ontario. There will be merchandise for sale at the event and a portion of the registration fees will be donated to Lupus Ontario, said Linda Keill, president of Lupus Ontario.

Keill stopped by The Review offices last week to talk a bit about the upcoming fundraiser. She said that she and some volunteers will have a table set up near the beer tent on Sunday, August 19 to accept donations and to raise awareness.

Keill said that the “Six in the Sticks” event raises funds for smaller, lesser-known charities every year. This year, Lupus Ontario was selected. It is classified as a rare disease because only one in 1,000 will be diagnosed with Lupus and of those, 90 per cent are female, said Keill.

One of the reasons Lupus may be a lower-profile disease is that sometimes, you cannot tell that someone has Lupus. People know less about Lupus Ontario, when compared to higher-profile charities like the Canadian Cancer Society or the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Keill knows what she is talking about. She has discoid lupus, which makes her skin very sensitive to the sun. Because of Lupus, she is also vulnerable to blood disorders, but she is lucky, she said, because there is no joint involvement or the pain that goes with it.

Lupus often causes inflammation and pain and there is no cure. The other struggle those with Lupus may face is the length of time it can take for someone to be diagnosed.

Keill has roots in Eastern Ontario. She grew up in this part of the province and says it is time to refocus Lupus awareness in this part of the province. All donations will be directed to the Ottawa Hospital Lupus Clinic.

Lupus Ontario pledge forms will be at The Review later this week. You can register for the August 19 Walk for Lupus event at the Vankleek Hill Fair here.

Or make a donation here.