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Providing Answers, Support and Hope in Florida
This is my chapter   |   
Florida Lupus Support Group Facilitator
Carla Drakes-Serrano

I enjoy helping lupus patients like me, by being their voice and listening to their concerns—just helping them find ways to cope with lupus. The most important reason is that they are my family now.

Jan Cirillo

Originally from Michigan, I have had systemic lupus for 25 years. I felt alone with my disease until I learned about starting a local support group in SW Florida. I love what I do because members come month after month to support each other.

Harvey Mackler

I am a caregiver for my wife. I have observed her struggles with lupus, and I will do most anything to help others similarly afflicted.

Karen Barkevich

I like being a group facilitator because I love to help people. As a person with lupus, I understand what others are going through; I lead so we can all help each other navigate this disease.

Kenny Londono

I feel called to give back and contribute to a cause that means so much to me. As a licensed marriage and family therapist and a lupus patient, becoming an LFAFL support group facilitator is the best way I feel I can utilize my skills to give back.

Marilyn Honahan

I like being a support group facilitator as I feel I can provide assistance and encouragement to newly diagnosed patients. Having been a patient myself (over 40 years) I hope that I am able to be an example to others that there can always be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Mary Kohn

I enjoy facilitating a lupus support group because it gives me the opportunity to be involved with the Lupus Foundation of America and to help others who are living with this illness.

Sharmane Hines

I have had lupus for more than 30 years, and I find it rewarding to share my experiences and knowledge as a Support Group Facilitator. I believe, for the newly diagnosed it is important for them to see that although lupus is unpredictable, most people can live a long and satisfying life.

Stacey Interlandi

I like being a facilitator to help others, especially when they are most vulnerable, scared, or worried. I can apply my many life “adventures” of living daily with lupus and my experiences in the corporate world, family life, and my own personal journey.

Jeanette Alston-Watkins

I love being an LFA Support Group facilitator because it allows me to help people from all stages of their lupus diagnosis. I love to see the progress and growth as they become their own advocates. We’ve even become family.

Amanda Tempel

Life can kick us in the teeth. Having someone willing to walk with us through our crisis is everything. Providing understanding, unconditional acceptance, and true empathy creates hope and connection. This gives us strength to fight/survive another day.

Natasha Slaughter

As a 10-year lupus warrior, I have learned to use my skills and abilities to live successfully with my illness. As a support group facilitator, I (would) like to share my knowledge and experiences to help others to live well with their lupus.