Dear Friend of the ALR,
December 2, 1980 is a day that is etched in my mind … that’s the day I was diagnosed with lupus.
I was 15 years old, happily living in the suburbs of Chicago with my family. A typical kid, nothing was more important to me than playing volleyball. I did not care what the illness was called … I just wanted to get better and back on the court. But by the time I turned 1617, volleyball was just too taxing and I was forced to give it up. I was heartbroken.
Fast forward a couple of decades … one day the mail included a letter about an organization — the Alliance for Lupus Research — that was dedicated to funding research to find a cure for lupus. It was holding its third annual fundraising walk in Washington, D.C. — and I knew I had to become involved.
My husband, Jonathan, and I raised funds for the D.C. walk until the ALR decided to start one in Baltimore. We joined the Planning Committee and have been an integral part of the Baltimore Walk with Us to Cure Lupus events for the past seven years.
In my 32 years of living with lupus, I have experienced a wide variety of symptoms. Some problems are from the horrible disease itself, and some are from the daily medications to keep it at bay.
I had blood clots while still in high school (and again a decade later) … a hip replaced before I was 30 … holes drilled in my joints five different times … collapsed discs in my lumbar spine … arthritis in my cervical spine … headaches … the linings around both my lungs and my heart have been inflamed … and my fingers and toes just will not stay warm in the cold.
On top of all of that is an overwhelming fatigue, all while being told, “but you don’t look sick.”
My years of living with lupus have taught me much, and have caused me to revise my hopes and dreams for the future many times. I had to give up working full time. But, I do have an incredible support system of family and friends that has been amazing at helping me to raise funds for lupus research.
Today, I want you to know that the ALR needs your help.
Jonathan and I have been raising funds for the ALR for over ten years now. We keep asking, and asking, and asking some more — because the ALR is working toward a cure. And that means that no one else will have to endure the physical problems and pain that I have known.
Please give what you can today, so that we can cure this dreadful disease. Together, we can — and will — beat lupus. Just watch us.
P.S. I have shared my story for one reason: To put a stop to lupus, so no one else will go through that much pain. Please continue funding the ALR and the cutting-edge research to cure lupus.