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Providing Answers, Support and Hope in Florida
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Support groups meet virtually across Florida and online in our LupusConnect Community. We are here for you every step of the way.

Virtual Support Groups

For the safety of our constituents and facilitators during the Covid-19 pandemic, our in-person support groups have been moved online. Please see below for specific groups, dates, and times.

RSVP for a future meeting.

Los invitamos a unirse a un grupo de apoyo virtual. Consulte con la lista de grupos en su area para las fechas y horarios especificos a ese grupo. 

Confirme su asistencia llenando este formulario. 

Lupus Connect

We also encourage you to join our online support communityLupus Connect, where individuals with lupus and their loved ones can engage daily with others like themselves 24/7.

 

Need additional support? Our helpline is also open Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm at 1-855-905-8787 or via email at support@lupusfl.org.

Broward/South Palm Beach

RSVP: https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/emf/lupusfl/virtualsupportgrouprsvp

When: 3rd Thursday of the month, 6:30- 8:00 pm

Phone: 561-279-8606

Email: support@lupusfl.org

Cost: FREE (registration is required)

Facebook Broward/South Palm Beach Group

Facilitators:

Stacey Interlandi

Stacey was diagnosed with SLE and degenerative disk disease in 1998 and has stayed active ever since. She began volunteering with the LFA, Florida Chapter—at the office and awareness events—and joined the foundation’s Board of Directors in 2002. Most recently, she has added a facilitator to her volunteer description, and currently facilitates the Broward/South Palm Beach Lupus Support Group on a monthly basis. Stacey believes it’s important to recognize your limitations, but more importantly, it’s ok to ask for and accept help from those around you.

 

Teresa Cobb

My Name is Teresa Cobb, 10 years ago I was diagnosed with Lupus, and didn’t know it meant sitting in a chair every month with an I.V. in my arm, countless tests, and constant doctor appointments. I dream one day that there will be a cure for this mysterious disease, which affects so many people. I hope to spread awareness and help others understand, navigate, and live better this disease. The most important thing about me is that I am a Survivor

Central Florida

RSVPhttps://www.emailmeform.com/builder/emf/lupusfl/virtualsupportgrouprsvp
 
Date & Time: 3rd Tuesday of each month, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Phone: 561-279-8606

Email: support@lupusfl.org 

Cost: FREE (registration is required)

Beverly Minniefield 

I am a fun-loving, free-spirited, God-fearing wife, step-mom, fur-mom, and Lupus Warrior that resides in Polk County/Central Florida. Diagnosed with SLE in 2009 my life changed medically, however I gained a positive outlook and learned to live life to the fullest. I love to see people smile, and I will always strive to be the one to put a smile on the faces I see from day to day. No matter your situation, always try to put your best foot forward, live your life, and be the best YOU authentically! To have the opportunity to connect, learn, help and share with others impacted by lupus has been a dream since diagnosed with lupus.

Miami Dade

RSVP: https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/emf/lupusfl/virtualsupportgrouprsvp

Date & Time: 4th Wednesday of each month, 6:30-8:00 pm 

Phone:  561-279-8606

Email: support@lupusfl.org

Cost: FREE (registration required) 

Facebook Miami Lupus Support Group

Facilitators:

Carla Drakes - Serrano

Carla Drakes is 52 years old and diagnosed with lupus in 2012. She has been an active supporter and volunteer with the Lupus Foundation of America, Florida Chapter for the past several years and is currently a facilitator for the chapter’s Miami/Dade support group. I look forward to the South Florida Walk to End Lupus Now every single year—I just love seeing my brothers and sisters who live with this illness being strong and ready to fight Lupus.

Jeanette Alston-Watkins

Jeanette was diagnosed 13 years ago, and she quickly learned that a great attitude was the only way to survive this disease. Be grateful for the small things, big things, and, most importantly, the necessary things… like waking up every day. After a few years, Jeanette realized that God wanted her to use this as a way to help others learn to cope. You have to be willing to continue with life. Along with managing a full-time job, Jeanette has been an active volunteer with the Lupus Foundation of America, Florida Chapter for the past six years—working as a support group facilitator, community ambassador, advocate, and fundraiser. She has also found time to write a book about her experiences with this devastating illness—Hope: My Lupus Journey. Smiling and being happy is what I do, and I try to remind people that you have to stay active and never give up hope. One day they will find a cure. Most importantly, don't let this disease win. J.A.W.'s Dream Warrior Fight Lupus-like a girl!!!

North Florida

RSVPhttps://www.emailmeform.com/builder/emf/lupusfl/virtualsupportgrouprsvp

Date & Time: 4th Thursday of each month, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm 

Phone: 561-279-8606

Email: support@lupusfl.org

Cost: FREE (registration is required)

Facebook North Florida Lupus Support Group 

Facilitator:

Natasha Slaughter

Natasha Slaughter began experiencing Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) symptoms in 2005 and was officially diagnosed in 2009. When her SLE symptoms put a halt to her career in 2013, she turned to volunteerism which led to her journey to becoming an entrepreneur. Natasha has always had a passion for non-profits and not-for-profit organizations. During her 17+ years as an HR and Learning & Development professional, she devoted time to develop future community leaders in the areas of education and human resources through her volunteer efforts. Today, in addition to being a Lupus Advocate and Lupus Support Group Facilitator; she is a board member with the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Jacksonville Chapter in addition to being the Founder of NEx Chapter Media Group where she provides marketing, consulting and administrative support to nonprofit organizations and professional associations. Natasha graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She is also a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).

 

April Hall-Lloyd

I’m a proud Jacksonville native & graduate of the University of North Florida. I have 25+ years of combined experience in Property Management, Project Management, Property Maintenance, Real Estate and Mortgage Lending. 
My passion is people. My goal is to educate and inspire. 

 

 

North Palm Beach/ Treasure Coast

RSVP: https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/emf/lupusfl/virtualsupportgrouprsvp

Date & Time: 2nd Monday of each month, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Phone: 561-279-8606

Email: support@lupusfl.org

Cost: FREE (registration is required)

Facebook North Palm Beach Lupus Support Group

Southwest Florida

RSVP: https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/emf/lupusfl/virtualsupportgrouprsvp

Date & Time: 3rd Saturday of each month, 10:30 am- 12:00 pm

Phone: 561-279-8606

Email: support@lupusfl.org

Cost: FREE (registration is required)

Facebook Naples Lupus Support Group

Facilitators:

Jan Cirillo

My name is Jan Cirillo. Education has always been my passion. After earning multiple degrees in Early Childhood/Special Education (Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education/Multiply Impaired, a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education/Severely Emotionally Impaired, and a Specialist Degree in Autistically Impaired Education), I taught multiple impaired pre-schoolers in the state of Michigan for over 30 years. Unfortunately, I was forced to retire early due to my lupus, which appeared shortly after the birth of my last son. I loved Michigan, but with lupus and Raynaud's I never felt truly warm. My family and I moved to Marco Island where I am now able to swim, exercise, socialize with friends, and enjoy the outdoors. I have a full team of doctors who are very important in my daily life. Dividing my time between weekly labs, medical appointments, and pharmacies, I feel as though it’s almost a full-time job keeping myself healthy. However, I believe in staying positive. I take one day at a time and do the best I can that day. I often remind myself not to think in terms of what I used to do BEFORE lupus, but concentrate on what I am able to do now. I believe in support systems – people you can connect with and share both good and bad. Facilitating a lupus support group is my opportunity to educate and inspire others -- to help them along their personal journeys.

 

Marilyn Honahan

I first started having symptoms in my early 20's, and my pain increased each year along with the cold Northeast winters. Ten years later, following bouts of pleuritis, pericarditis, and many symptoms, I was finally diagnosed with lupus. Since then, I have been amazingly lucky to experience 20 years of minor symptoms and feel fine most of the time. Currently, I co-facilitate LFAFL’s SW Florida Support Group. Experiences have taught me the importance of sharing and lending friendship and information to help other lupus patients, their families and friends.

West Florida

RSVP: https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/emf/lupusfl/virtualsupportgrouprsvp

Date & Time: 2nd Saturday of each month, 12:30 pm - 2:00pm

Phone: 561-279-8606

Email: support@lupusfl.org

Cost: FREE (registration is required)
 

Facebook West Florida Lupus Support Group

Facilitators:

Karen Barkevich

I was first diagnosed with Raynaud's and Fibromyalgia in in 1999. From there it advanced to Reactive Arthritis in 2008, and I was diagnosed with UTCD in Jan 2015 which progressed to MCTD and now lupus. I used to travel approximately 30 weeks a year participating in business tradeshows, conferences, customer visits, etc., and the rest of my time was spent marketing and managing our company’s 15 outside sales reps. By August 2015 I could barely bend up and down without my knees aching and constant tiredness. I was flying 120+ flights a year sometimes putting in 15hour days with travel and shows--it finally took its toll physically. I loved every aspect of the job--the travel and the people--but was forced to admit I just couldn’t do it anymore. As things progressively became worse, I made the tough decision to stop. I am now on disability & volunteering for Lupus Foundation of America, FL Chapter as a support group facilitator. I have 2 Persian cats and we love to watch the birds. Luckily, I have the most supportive husband ever. I have been blessed! I'M A LUPUS WARRIOR!

 

Harvey Mackler

I am a spouse of a Lupus patient. I have also lived with a younger brother with ALS, so I am quite familiar with chronic diseases and support group needs. I own and manage a family wholesale jewelry business. I graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Lupus Crew - Under 30

RSVP: https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/emf/lupusfl/virtualsupportgrouprsvp

Date & Time: 3rd Wednesday of each month, 6:30-8:00 pm

Lupus Crew will not meet in September

Phone: 561-279-8606

Email: support@lupusfl.org

Cost: FREE (registration is required)

Lupus Crew - Under 30 Facebook Group

 

Brianna Steidle

Brianna is the daughter of a lupus warrior and began her own autoimmune journey at 15 years old. She is a poetry master’s student at Johns Hopkins University; a long-time LFA, Florida Chapter event photographer, speaker, and volunteer; a hiking enthusiast; and (according to her dog) a top-notch fetch partner. 

What’s a chronic illness when you’re already staring down the challenges of being a twenty-something? With the Lupus Crew, she hopes to create a safe and welcoming space for other young people touched by this disease.  

Grupo de Apoyo

RSVP: https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/tvrp6771Efes4kU942niRa9F7

Fecha y Hora: Este grupo se une cada segundo Miercoles del Mes. De 6:30-8:00 pm 

Phone: 561-279-8606

Email: support@lupusfl.org

Costo: GRATIS  (es necesario registrarse para atender el grupo)

Grupo de Apoyo en Facebook 

Support Group Disclaimer

The Lupus Foundation of America support groups are intended to assist group members to adjust to a life with lupus and to provide current and reliable lupus information & resources. The groups are open to those with lupus, their loved ones, and caregivers and are implemented by LFA-trained facilitators. LFA support groups are not designed to provide professional psychotherapy or counseling; however out of respect for participants, confidentiality is required, and no information shall be revealed outside of the group. The opinions and statements expressed by the group members or its volunteer leaders do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of the Lupus Foundation of America.