For the past few weeks, I have been sore beyond relief. I am sore to the touch, my joints hurt, and I have not been able to eat because my mouth is full of cankers. I should be going to the doctor to get a steroid shot but my health has suffered from its use as well. I am a business owner, a volunteer, a mom, a wife, a friend, and a family member. I am all these things and I am living with Lupus.
Despite these facts, I am walking in the Atlanta Walk to End Lupus Now on Saturday April 29, 2017. I want to raise funds to help change lives for those who suffer from this disease — not for me, but for Tracey Glazener. As I sit here writing this letter, making it personal and going beyond my comfort zone, I understand why it is important to tell my story and share Tracey’s as well.
I am a lupus patient. It has taken me quite a long time to embrace this. I am not sure I've really embraced or just learned to adjust to the realities of what it means. I can't even say that I've learned to adjust to it because everytime I do, it shows up in a different ways. My family, like other families had to adjust to the fact that I am different. I thank God that now I don't suffer (physically) as I did in the past, yet in some ways the internal struggle can be just has hard.
- "Friends" slowly disappear. I am a giver and the truth is that when you are a giver, the takers drop you — only you don't realize that the takers were just takers in the first place.
- Most days I have to pick a shower, clean house, and work — my house is usually a mess and so far no complaints about body order ... yet.
- Giving up a part of me — like tennis.
- Not getting help.
- People mistaking my "don't quit" attitude and discipline to justify not pulling their weight.
- Feeling as if I am not keeping my word because my energy is unpredicatable. It leaves things like my volunteer work in the "not started" pile.
- Noticing each year gets a little harder while most people around me does not notice it at all.
WHERE YOUR FUNDS GO
My personal goal is to raise $5,000 in order to help the Lupus Foundation of America, Georgia Chapter advocate for Lupus patients and their families. Every step and every donation helps our efforts to solve the cruel mystery of lupus. So far I have raised $1,900. Will you help me reach my goal today?
Ninety percent of every dollar donated stays in Georgia to ensure the Chapter continues to provide and expand the only free statewide lupus programs and resources, including the support group network and statewide symposiums that reach new communities and patients annually. The Chapter also supports the national LFA research efforts funding and advocating for investment in lupus.
My out of pocket expenses for Lupus treatment is well over $30,000 each year. This includes regular doctor visits, traditional treatments and holistic treatments as well. My support system is made up of family, friends, doctors, spiritual and emotional counsel as well as physio/physical therapists. Treating lupus is expensive, but it has improved the quality of life for both my family and me.
Not everyone is able to get the support that I have. That is where the Lupus Foundation of America, Georgia Chapter comes in. They serve as patient advocates and support systems. They help educate lupus patients and their families, they help support the research needed for a cure, and they help lupus patients not have to make the choice between paying the light bill and paying for their medication.
Will you support me in my commitment and help me meet goal? You can either donate or join our team and help raise the funds.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
My goal is to have a team of at least 100 walkers raising $100. Imagine if you give $10 then you only have to find 9 more people to donate $10. So far we have 63 registered.
Use a credit card on the secured website to receive an emailed tax receipt. You can also send a check payable to the Lupus Foundation of America, Georgia Chapter with the form available on my page or at LupusGa.org.
No one and no organ are safe. Ten years ago, no one spoke of lupus. There was little awareness and understanding of the signs and symptoms and very little investment in research. Lupus is an unpredictable and potentially fatal autoimmune disease that effects 55,000 Georgians, mostly women aged 18-45, but also men, children, and women of all ages. We have hope for a brighter future with donations from generous supporters like you.
The cruel mystery does not daunt us. We work tirelessly to improve the lives of all people affected by lupus. Thank you for joining me in the fight to end lupus!
Social Butterflies, Team Captain