NEW YORK (PIX11) — This weekend will mark the 15th anniversary of the Walk to End Lupus Now event in New York City.

This year, organizers aim to raise funds for lupus research, support and educational services. Sara Katz, who started the event 15 years ago as part of the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), joined PIX11 Morning News to talk about why the event is important. Watch the video player above for the full interview.

“Those affected by lupus need constant care and assistance: monitoring doctor’s appointments, drugs, treatments, flareups,” Katz said. “It’s a constant battle, and that’s why we’re fortunate for the LFA and the services it provides.”

Katz started the event in honor of her brother Michael, who lost his life to lupus. The autoimmune disease affects 1.5 million Americans, according to the LFA.

Women make up 90% of the people worldwide living with lupus. One of those people is Shautae Thompson, who joined the show with Katz.

“Living with lupus is a daily struggle. Most of the time, I wake up with stiff joints, I’m very fatigued,” Thompson said. “It’s hard for people to understand us because the symptoms aren’t visible.”

The Walk to End Lupus Now event on Saturday will kick off with a ceremony at 9:30 a.m. and the 3-mile walk will start at 10 a.m.