Erin Holland Friends and Family,
This is my 5th year participating in the Walk to End Lupus Now. The walk will be virtual again on Oct. 16, 2021 nationwide. Certainly not as much fun as a REAL walk, but very necessary nonetheless. As a lupus thriver, I'm all in when it comes to fundraising for research and a cure. There is so much that isn't known about this disease...and it's truly debilitating. Any support that you can give is greatly appreciated!! Click on the link to donate!!
Erin's Story: As many of you know, I got really sick in January of 2015. After a year of horrible and debilitating symptoms and illnesses, I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in January of 2016. SLE is the most common form of lupus. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks any and/or multiple organs. There is no cure and there are limited options for treatment.
Each lupus patient has different issues. For me, lupus attacks my joints, muscles, lungs and most recently my heart. Those with lupus also typically have other issues; I have had a rare skin disorder and a blood clotting issue that we regulated weekly over several years. I've had two other diagnoses in 2019 and had to have 6 months of chemotherapy followed up by maintenance chemotherapy that is still ongoing (in the pandemic no less.) Arrgghhhh!!! My main goal now is to keep my lupus at bay. I'm back to work, and starting to travel now that the vaccine is out and letting us get back to in person events. I'm not quite as fully participating in working out like I used to, but I am walking several days per week and trying to eat a more wholesome diet. No plans on running again....my joints are just too sensitive still. During the early days of the pandemic, I worked on getting my stamina back; I'm better now than I have been in YEARS. Lupus has changed not only my world, but my family’s world. We know how fragile life can be.
Overall, I’m pretty fortunate:
1) We have an unbelievable support network comprised of family and friends.
2) My employer offers really solid health insurance.
3) Our connections to people who are willing to go the extra mile to help us figure out my issues have been incredible.
When dealing with a chronic illness, these are the things that matter.
Treatment is limited. I am still on an extensive mix of medications. Only ONE drug has been developed to treat lupus in the past 50 years…yep, you read that correctly. And, it’s very cost prohibitive. If you don’t have great insurance, you won’t even get it offered to you. The medications tend to have crazy side effects and I've had many of them over the past 5 years (hair loss, skin sensitivity, migraines, etc..) And, in the Spring of 2021 I was diagnosed with some hearing loss; my doctors think it's due to lupus and the extensive amount of meds I've had to take.
I am committed to raising awareness about lupus and fundraising to help fund research for treatments and a cure. I must help raise money for researching this horrible disease; I don’t want others to suffer in the future. 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 $250 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!