Hello Family & Friends,
Thank you for taking the time to visit my Walk to End Lupus Now® fundraising page. This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart and it means the world to me to have your support as we work together to find a cure for this devastating disease.
Almost two years ago, I was admitted to the hospital with excruciating stomach pain and blood in my urine. This was the third instance in as many months and my last hospital stay left me without any clear answers to the cause. After numerous lab tests, imaging procedures, physician consultations and a biopsy of my kidney, I was finally given the news that I had lupus nephritis, lupus which was impacting my kidneys. In a way, it was comforting to receive the diagnosis, to unmask the disease that had been lurking in the shadows, but on the other hand, I was immediately flooded with questions and fears about the road ahead.
Since then, I have started several lupus medications and been in regular communication with my rheumatologist and nephrologist. The resources and support from patient focused organizations such as the Lupus Foundation of American have been a blessing as they have allowed me to learn more about my disease and connect with my fellow Lupus Warriors (shout out to the Man Cave support group!). Things are far from perfect, and some days are tougher than others, but I’ve managed to stay out of the hospital and feel like I have at least some control over my health.
It has been a journey learning more about my body and this disease. From understanding and managing my lupus triggers (mainly the sun and stress), to managing the numerous medications and appointments, and learning about my energy boundaries, it has been a constant challenge to find my “new normal”. I am more than my diagnosis but I have accepted that lupus is part of who I am.
Lupus impacts people in many different ways. The symptoms and severity of disease can vary greatly from patient to patient. In recent years, there have been new drug approvals and advancements in our understanding of lupus. In fact, I was put on a medication earlier this year that was only approved in 2021! However, we are far from a cure or a treatment to prevent lupus and even more options are needed for patients.
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.
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.