The Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana Chapter is fortunate to have professionally-trained volunteers to offer support to lupus patients, friends, and family members throughout the state.These wonderful volunteers facilitate our support group meetings.
We are looking for a co-facilitator for Fort Wayne. If you are interested in being trained to start a support group in your community, please contact Damiah Woodmore.
Dr. Marie Kelly-Worden
Dr. Marie Kelly-Worden’s interest in autoimmune disease began with the diagnosis of her brother with Torrette’s Syndrome with ADHA and OCD at the age of 6. She holds a PhD in Physiology from Wayne State University School of Medicine as well as training at Northwestern University in virology and the Cleveland Clinic in the department of Neurosurgery. One of her early student worker’s suffered with lupus and she began a project looking at the effects of antinuclear antibodies using the Lewis Rat Model. Marie has continued to work with autoimmune antibodies and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at BSU. Her research interests include autoimmune and neurological disease. Her current projects focus on the role of Alzheimer's disease, the role of autoimmune antibodies in disease, cancer therapy, and the sub-characterizing of lupus types. She is a married mother of four wonderful children.
Debbie Jirgal is a wife and mother of seven children. She spends her days educating her children that are still at home and being involved in different ministries in her church and community. She enjoys body building to keep her strong and crocheting to keep her resting. She was diagnosed with lupus in 2009, following an unconfirmed diagnosis a few years prior. She found a lot of lupus information and support through LFA supports groups in the area and chose to start a new group so she could also help people in the same way people have helped her. Making people feel like it is okay to not be okay and that people are there for you is important to her. She likes to look at the positive side of things which has helped in her lupus journey. She is committed to helping others with lupus and to help raise awareness of the disease.
Currently not available
Alisha Jones is a happily married mother of a 16-year-old son that keeps her on her toes. She works part time as a radiology veterinary technician. In her spare time she enjoys refinishing furniture, scrap booking and reading. Alisha was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus in 2010 and has since been on a journey to find a cure. Alisha is excited to get the word out about the Greenfield support group to let others know that they are not alone in this fight. Alisha truly believes that "Together we will find a cure!"
Carla Day has been volunteering and serving the LFA, Indiana Chapter since 2010. In 2013 she was named our Chapter Volunteer of the Year, in 2015 was inducted into our Volunteer Hall of Fame, in 2016 was honored to be named the national LFA Volunteer of the Year, and in 2018 was elected as LFA, Indiana Chapter Board Chair! Carla is the facilitator for the Indy East Support Group, and is the visionary for the Faces of Lupus fashion show and P.A.T.H. program. She serves on the planning committee for the annual 'In the Loop - Healthy Living with Lupus' educational symposium. She was diagnosed with lupus in 1988, and having struggled and persevered over the disease for more than twenty years, she is an exemplary role model for others who are trying to do the same. Carla is married to Happy Day, who is also an avid LFA, Indiana Chapter supporter and volunteer. Carla currently serves as the Nurse’s Guild president at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, where she has been a member for more than 30 years. She enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with family.
Ashley Nicole Gatlin
Ashley Nicole Gatlin is 33 years old and was diagnosed with lupus when she was 23, though it was determined she had had lupus since she was 16. She works for the State of Indiana full time and is in the process of building her own clothing line.