I’ve been living with lupus since I was 15 years-old, and since my diagnosis, I have made activism for the lupus community one of my biggest priorities. The harsh reality is that most people don’t even know what lupus is, a lesson I learned the hard way throughout high school when many of my teachers did not understand how sick I really was and were unsympathetic when I missed weeks of class. I love giving back the lupus community and the Lupus Foundation of America specifically as a way to support survivors, promote education to the public, and fund research for lupus—the only way this cruel disease will cease to exist.
One of my favorite events encompassed all three of these goals: a Casino Night fundraiser held this past February. Over 100 people attended the event where there was food, drinks, raffle prizes, a silent auction, and casino games. Because of the generosity of my family, friends, and several local businesses, the venue, the lighting, the food, and all of the silent auction and raffle prizes were donated. In total, we raised over $10,000 in one night for pediatric lupus research—a dollar amount that surpassed my wildest expectations! While general lupus research is extremely important for everyone afflicted by lupus, pediatric lupus research is less common and more pressing, as children with lupus cannot be treated the same way as adults. Moreover, the Lupus Foundation of America is the largest financial supporter of pediatric lupus research, which is why I’m such an avid supporter of the organization. Because I was diagnosed as a pediatric patient myself, this cause is near and dear to my heart, and it meant the world to me to give back to an organization that has already given me so much.
To learn more about lupus or learn how you can support the Lupus Foundation of America, click here.
To read more about my story with lupus, click here.