Enthusiastic … charming … exuberant-these are qualities Lauren Maley has in spades-so much so that you might not easily grasp the extent to which lupus has impacted her young life.
Officially she has been coping with lupus for the past five years-but in reality, it has been much longer.
A false-negative lupus test resulted in years of suffering and a late start to treatment. “I went for test after test, biopsy after biopsy with nothing conclusive-as I was getting sicker and sicker,” said Lauren.
At this point in Lauren’s life, she was traveling a tough, lonely road-coping with all the angst of embarking on a career… and lupus.
Despite having the disease, Lauren, with a sharp eye and blazing ambition, made a name for herself as a dealer in the competitive art world. She sold works of art valued at more than a million dollars annually.
Patrons relied on her knowledge and taste. But Lauren could not rely on her own health. “I had so many complex symptoms, skin rashes, memory issues, constant fatigue, and weight loss,” shared Lauren.
Fortunately, Lauren is one of the lucky ones. The latest FDA-approved lupus drug (the first in 60 years) has been working for her! But instead of focusing on herself, Lauren looks for ways to help others.
She has raised an astounding $10,000 participating in the past few LRA Walk with Us to Cure Lupus events in Los Angeles.
“I support this incredible organization because it not only funds the most groundbreaking research-it also devotes 100% of every dollar a donor gives directly to the research,” said Lauren.
And knowing that progress in research depends on participation in clinical trials, Lauren has expressed interest in joining one-once her doctor gives her the green light to become involved at this level.
Lauren is also outspoken when it comes to protecting the health of people with lupus. “What the general public doesn’t realize is that people with compromised immune systems already lived in fear of infection- before COVID-19,” shared Lauren. “So, the pandemic is an even scarier time for us.”
Lauren’s concern for others offers a breath of relief and a precious glimmer of hope-especially these days.