NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thousands of people gathered to participate in the Walk With Us To Cure Lupus walk Saturday morning.

Before the walk began, the Lupus Research Alliance had raised $200 million for lupus research, including $1 million from the fundraiser alone.

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Chairman of the Board of Directors Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock that “every dollar goes to research, and it’s the best research that money can buy.”

He said the research has led to multiple prescriptions that are used to treat and hopefully one day cure the disease.

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“My favorite part of the event today is just going around and talking to all of the people, a lot of whom have lupus, and share out experiences and give them hope that something good is going to happen quickly,” Johnson said.

Lupus is a disease that affects 1.5 million Americans, with 90 percent of them women.

Madeline Cocchiarella and her team, Maddie’s Marchers, have been a part of the event since she was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 13 in 2006. Over the years, her team has grown to include 50 to 60 people, and they have raised a little over $150,000, she told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock.

“Lupus is a disease and it can cause things that are really upsetting, you know conditions and side effects. But today it’s about positivity, it’s about motivation, and it’s about fundraising,” she said.

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To learn more about the Lupus Research Alliance and the Walk With Us To Cure Lupus, click here.