I was ten years old when my Mom was diagnosed with lupus, and every day for the last fifteen years I have counted my blessings that she has been able to attend every concert, see me graduate from school and support every dream. But I’m one of the lucky ones, because so many mothers don’t get to see their daughters grow up, like my Aunt Marilyn who passed away due to complications caused by lupus two years after my Mom was diagnosed.
Lupus is one of those diseases that you hear about but you never know exactly what it means. There are many complicated, scientific definitions of lupus, but I think this one from the Lupus Foundation of America explains it best.
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body)… In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs (“foreign invaders,” like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues (“auto” means “self”) and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.
There is still no definitive cause of lupus nor is there a cure, but there is hope. Advancements in medicine, research and a deeper understanding of the disease are making it possible to live well with lupus. However we still have a long way to go.
|The Nutmeg Butterfly
And this is why on April 21st 2012 my team, the Nutmeg Butterflies, will be joining hundreds of other supporters of the Lupus Foundation of America for their annual DC Walk for Lupus Now to raise awareness of lupus and funds to support research and the various programs of the Foundation. As a team our goal is to raise $1000, and with your help we can do it! Help us make a difference with every small step. No donation is too small, and I’m already grateful for your support and encouragement. Visit my Walk page to make a donation or just check on my progress.
Thanks again for your support and look out for updates and coverage from the walk!
I’m walking for my Mom, my Auntie Maro, the Lupus Foundation of Grenada, the Lupus Foundation of America and every family that has been affected by lupus. Join me!
Here’s the direct link to my Walk page:
Donation page of Alyssa Bierzynski