I am joining thousands of people across the country for the Walk to End Lupus Now®. I hope that you will join me either by lacing up your sneakers or by donating to my fundraising page.
I lost my sister to Lupus in August of 2014. That was the first year I joined the Walk to End Lupus Now. That year was not the first year I had to watch my sister struggle with this disease. She had been diagnosed nearly 8 years prior. That year was, however, the first year I really saw how devastating lupus could be. Jannese had been admitted to the hospital that spring, shortly after her 30th birthday. She originally went in under the assumption that she had pneumonia, again, completely unassuming that she would be stuck in that hospital for the next few months, and last months of her life. In that time, she was in and out of ICU, dealing with daily dialysis, among many other unsuccessful treatments. Her belly became distended, and she had to have it drained frequently. When she was being treated for some for the symptoms she was experiencing, her body reacted by giving her a chemical burn all over her body, landing her in the burn unit of the hospital for a while. While in the hospital, she discovered the Walk to End Lupus Now and was determined to get out in time to be a part of this walk. Unfortunately, after many months of fighting this devastating disease, she unexpectedly passed away, without getting the chance to walk for herself. That's a huge part of why I try to walk every year. While everyone has a different experience with lupus, this was hers, and it ultimately took her away from the people who loved her, myself included. To see the kind of pain she had to endure is something that I will never forget. I watched her body basically turn into her worst enemy.
Jannese was not defined by lupus. She was a light in the dark. She was magnetic and a safe place. She was full of life, despite lupus trying to slow her down. And in 2014 lupus took that light out of this world. I’m walking this year to carry that light on. I’m walking to remember her joy and her passion and to help it live on through her memory. I am walking for my son to have a chance to honor her memory because he never got to meet her. I’m walking for every big moment in my life that she had to miss. I’m walking for her friends and the rest of her family that have to miss her every day. I’m walking for my sister. I'm walking because she never had the chance to walk for herself. I’m walking for every other person that is in any way affected by this awful disease. I’m walking to find a cure. I’m walking to ensure that one day, no one has to endure the loss of someone they love because of lupus. I’m walking to end lupus now.
You can make a difference by donating 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.
Lupus is hard to diagnose, but the Lupus Foundation of America is working to make life easier and more comfortable for the estimated 1.5 million people living with lupus in the United States.
Together, we can solve the cruel mystery of lupus. Thank you for your generosity!