I walk because I have lupus! I was diagnosed when I was 21. It was a extremely hard time for me - so young and so many things going on in my life...I didn't have time to be sick and hurting! I did have to give up my dream of marching drum corps - I had made the rifle line for Carolina Crown but didn't get to march since I was in the beginning of my lupus journey. I didn't know what was happening at the time...all I knew was my body would not keep up and was swelling, hurting, and locking up in my joints. I was also having crazy reactions to the sun. Well, marching band is an outdoor activity so this was an awful mix. One day after a college rehearsal, I woke up aching. At first, I thought I was just sore from rehearsal. But over the next couple days it didn't go away but instead got worse. My elbows, knees, hands, and feet were swollen and would not function - completely locked up. A dear friend of mine had come by the house, saw my condition and took me to the doctor. They thought is was arthritis. Sent me to a doctor and started meds. Over the next year it didn't get better...I struggled everyday. Decided to change doctors - a couple times! Then I found a doctor who heard my story and tested me for lupus. I was unsure of what this actually meant and what lupus really was. All I knew was that I was by far the youngest patient he was treating. I soon began learning more about it and began treatment. It has caused me so many problems and there were so many times I wanted to give up/give in but I decided to refuse to let it control me. I almost had to give up guard all together but I fought hard! I have been teaching colorguard and marching band the last 19 years, been an elementary music teacher/chorus director for 16 years and accomplished so many things! But now my body cannot keep up with colorguard anymore. I have swapped over from teaching colorguard to being an assistant band director and focused on starting a family, which has also been a struggle over the last coule years. Lupus has definitely played a role in that too. I've had MANY ups and downs along the way. I've been through so many flare ups, tests, medications and days that were absolutely miserable! I've cried, prayed, and learned to deal with it over the years. I still struggle, but I feel that I'm one of the lucky ones. So many others have had much worse stories and cases. Many have lost their lives to this disease. I pray for a day when there will be a cure! Until then I fight! Discover your power and join my team, the Lupus League!
Will you make a donation to help me reach my personal fundraising goal and support the Foundation's efforts to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus? A generous contribution of $25 or $55 can make a definite impact. What’s more, if your employer offers a Matching Gift Program to employees, you may be able to double your contribution with just a little bit of paperwork. Trust me, it’s worth the effort! Every single dollar counts.
Did you know?
- Lupus is a mysterious and misunderstood autoimmune disease. It strikes without warning, affects each person differently, and has no known causes or cure.
- Lupus symptoms can be severe and highly unpredictable and can damage any organ or tissue, from the skin or joints to the heart or kidneys.
- While lupus can strike anyone at any time, 90% of people living with lupus are women. Women of color are at especially high risk.
- Only one drug has ever been developed and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration specifically to treat the disease. This needs to change!
Together, we can solve the cruel mystery of lupus. Thank you for your generosity!