I’m Walking to End Lupus. Join Me?
My name is Jennifer Macion. I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus at the age of 8 and have lived with the disease for more than 20 years. My initial symptoms included extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, body aches, fever, and the signature butterfly rash. Since information on lupus was not readily available at the time and it was not common in children, my pediatrician kept telling my mother that I simply had a cold and to give me Tylenol, which did not help at all. This eventually led my mother to look for answers from many different sources and other places. It took so long to diagnose me that I almost died. Once my diagnosis was made by my rheumatologist, I had to be rushed to the hospital immediately and have since been given a regimen of several strong medications, including prednisone, methotrexate, and cyclosporine, in addition to cytoxan treatments when my kidneys were affected early on. I have experienced many flares, whole body pain, weight gain, hair loss, joint pain, depression, and one episode of remission followed by a horrible relapse. With my desire to learn as much as I could about my disease on every level, I made sure I qualified for the medical magnet program at my high school, participated in undergraduate research in college, and graduated from UCLA with a major in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics. Through my work in clinical testing facilities, academic research laboratories, and in the healthcare industry, I have gained knowledge and various perspectives. I am now building a business with my husband that will one day allow me to fulfill my purpose of helping countless others and my dream of starting my own research laboratory which will be specifically focused on finding a cure for lupus.
Imagine a day when doctors can say, “There is a cure for lupus.” Until that day though, there is work to be done. That’s why I’m taking action in the fight against lupus. Join me as I participate in Lupus Foundation of America’s Walk to End Lupus Now™ in Dallas/Fort Worth to raise critical funds for the estimated 1.5 million people living with lupus in the United States.
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.
Together, we can solve the cruel mystery of lupus. Thank you for your generosity!