2019 Walk to End Lupus Now, Tampa

OUR LUPUS WARRIORS
OUR LUPUS WARRIORS

2 Mora Steps Closer to a Cure

WHAT IS LUPUS?

First off, we need to know why we are here and what is bringing us together. The technical, medical definition of Lupus is simply a “chronic autoimmune disease.”

However, a family member’s explanation of Lupus can certainly provide much further insight: A disease that places your loved ones in a bubble so other peoples’ germs cannot put their system in overdrive. As it does not know when to stop, Lupus attacks the organs and causes severe pain. Lupus is a disease that changes lives, a disease that has no cure, a disease that causes other diseases and a disease that, quite frankly, scares the heck out of so many of us. The sole reason we are walking is to find a cure to end the suffering.  The suffering of those with lupus and those that love and support them.

2 Mora Steps Closer to A Cure would like to thank our Business sponsors:

BrainKase Design, Bubba Raceway Park, Employers HR and IO Music your donations and in-kind donations help move us closer to our goal and the end of lupus!  Thank you!!

WHY WE WALK

Lupus can strike anyone at any time. Lupus has affected Catlyn (Cat) and George Mora, two loving members of our family fighting a disease that has only one approved medication. Sadly, this medication simply treats the symptoms and is nowhere near a cure.
So, we walk to help increase awareness of this dreaded disease. We walk to raise money for research. We walk in hopes of giving Cat, George and all the other Lupus Warriors a chance at a healthy future. We walk for hope.
To learn more about how donations are utilized, please visit:
http://www.lupus.org/research

OUR LUPUS WARRIORS’ STORIES

We begin with Cat, our Lupus Princess Warrior. We were at a family member’s wedding, Cat was dancing and having a great time until she took a fall and hit her knee; she had continued soreness, swelling and pain that would not go away. Dawn, Cat’s mother and George’s wife, takes her to a physician who states she simply needed to exercise and do stretches to remedy the soreness. However, doing so, brings Cat to tears and does not help rectify any of her painful symptoms. Lasting roughly a year, Cat is then sent to specialist after specialist. Tests are run and Cat is told that the results will be in within a few weeks.
To learn more about the span of Lupus tests, please visit:
http://www.lupus.org/answers/entry/lupus-tests)

Ironically, during this same period of time, Cat’s dad, George, our Lupus Warrior, also isn’t feeling well, thinking he might have bronchitis. Being a typical Marine, he does not want to venture out to the VA ER; however, makes a standard appointment for the following Tuesday, claiming he can wait. After some laborious discussions on Sunday night with his wife, Dawn, she finally convinces George to be seen by a doctor sooner since he has been virtually comatose upon arriving home from work Friday night. His symptoms continue to escalate. Upon arrival, George is immediately admitted into the VA hospital and believed to have had a minor heart attack. After a series of tests are run, his kidneys appear damaged. So, more tests are run. During this already stressful time, Dawn gets a call from Cat’s doctor with Cat’s test results from weeks earlier: she is officially diagnosed with Lupus. Dawn then returns to the hospital only to find out George has also been diagnosed with Lupus. Really? Unbelievably, the results come in the same day that both Cat and George have Lupus SLE. Because of George’s background in the military, as well as being an over-achiever, it’s determined that he also has Lupus Nephritis skipping directly into stage 4 of 5 stages. What a bombshell this news was and even more ironic to find out the very same day.

Cat, she is immediately placed on medication and given a strict diet/exercise routine (to help with the inflammation) with hopes of her Lupus going into remission. Her doctor discussed how to watch for triggers in order to reduce flare-ups:
To learn more about what triggers Lupus flare-ups, please visit:

http://www.lupus.org/answers/entry/what-are-common-triggers-for-a-lupus-flare

Thankfully, Cat’s Lupus was diagnosed early; her doctor is hopeful that, with the right medication and diet, she can keep it under control. However, it is still Lupus. And, with Lupus, other peoples’ germs can cause a Lupus Warrior’s body to attack itself. No cold is just a cold; every cold has the potential of attacking your immune system even after the cold is gone.

But for George, the disheartening symptoms continue. He begins coughing up blood as the Lupus has also attacked his lungs. He is required to begin chemotherapy immediately, in addition to a plasma exchange, which will all last for several months. Even during these traumatic events and one side of his body swollen from the process, George continues to look so healthy, it’s hard to believe he has a stage 4 diagnosis. According to his specialist, George would not have survived had he waited until the following Tuesday, the day of his initial appointment. After a lengthy stay in the hospital, George is released; however, his treatments must continue since his lungs and kidneys have been severely damaged. As with Cat, even a simple cold must be considered a life-threatening event. Since his kidneys are stage 4, his specialists fear that his system can easily attack his already damaged kidneys. George started treatment a new treatment last year, a monthly infusion which gives him some relief, however this is not a cure.  We ask that you keep Cat, George and all Lupus Warriors in your thoughts and prayers.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the end of Cat’s, George’s nor anyone’s story who has been diagnosed with Lupus. There are so many factors that affect the Lupus Warriors every day like medication and its side effects, fatigue, the sun and so many more, it’s difficult to list.

With the struggles we have seen in our own family, we reach out to you to join our team and help us give hope, to all Lupus Warriors, that a cure can be found for this debilitating disease. Thank you for your support.

To hear more about Catlyn, George and Dawns stories please visit their fundraising pages.

To learn more about Lupus, please visit:

http://www.lupus.org/answers/entry/what-is-lupus
and
http://www.lupus.org/answers/topic/frequently-asked-questions.

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