HARRISONBURG, Va. (Sept. 15, 2011) - Several James Madison softball alumnae are coming together to raise money for Lupus research as they will participate in the Alliance for Lupus Research charity walk in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 2.

The walk will take place on the National Mall with 100% of the donations going to support lupus research programs.

"The walk is important to me and a lot of the girls participating because lupus has seriously affected the life of one of our friends and teammates," former JMU outfielder Katie Schray (2004-06) said. "It effectively ended [former JMU pitcher] Briana Carrera's (2003-06) senior season, but she has been so strong and inspirational the past five years fighting the disease. When I heard about the walk, I thought it was a great way for us to show our support for Briana, and to help raise awareness and funds for lupus research at the same time."

Softball alumnae from all across the country have donated to the walk while at least six other former Dukes joining Schray in the walk. Briana's sister and former Madison catcher, Tamara Carrera (2005-07) will be joined by Katie Cochran (2005-08), Amber Kirk (2006-09), Julia Dominguez (2006-09) Jenny Clohan (2006-09) and Lauren Mernin (2007-08) for the event.

The Dukes started with an initial goal of raising $1,000 for the walk, but due to overwhelming support from family members, friends and teammates they have raised the goal to $2,000.

Those wishing to support the cause can do so by making an online contribution here and clicking on the "donate now" button. Checks can also be made out to the Alliance for Lupus Research (putting DC-850110 on the memo line to attribute it to the Dukes' team) and mailing it to Alliance for Lupus Research, 28 West 44th Street, Suite 501, New York, NY 10036. Others can also sign up to participate in the walk by going here and registering to join the team.