Aug. 18, 2017

Young Leaders Fighting Lupus Raise Awareness and Funds

Young Leaders Fighting Lupus (YLFL) is a group devoted to raising lupus awareness and funds to support the Lupus Foundation of America, Georgia Chapter. Members organize events that increase understanding of the impact of lupus, as well as foster leadership, advocacy, and fundraising skills among the younger members of the lupus community. Its members include lupus patients, families and friends of those with lupus, medical professionals, and others looking to make a difference in their community. For more information, contact Anne Rhodes at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Angela Maselli Ballantyne
Angela Ballantyne is an Associate Director with Coxe Curry & Associates, a fundraising consulting firm serving nonprofit organizations in greater Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. In addition to Young Leaders Fighting Lupus, Angela serves on the Board of Directors for the Lupus Foundation of America – Georgia Chapter, the Education Advisory Committee for ArtsBridge Foundation, and the Young Professionals Network for Atlanta Ballet. She was diagnosed with lupus at the age of 14 and has been thriving with lupus ever since. Angela and her husband Mitch love living in the incredible city of Atlanta.

Haley Cowan, PharmD
Haley Cowan is a pharmacist in pediatric oncology at Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta.  After receiving her degree from Mercer University, Cowan completed her residency at Northside Hospital’s PGY-2 Clinical Pharmacy with rotations in hematological oncology, bone marrow transplant, research, medical oncology, gynecological oncology, and pharmacy administration.  In addition to her medical career, Cowan also serves as Director of Sales and Interim Marketing Manager at Eventide Brewing, a craft brewery of which she is a co-owner.  Her commitment to the Lupus Foundation began after having a close childhood friend diagnosed with the disease.  That experience along with her career sparked a dedication to finding a cure.

Caroline Earle
Caroline Earle is the current Senior Policy Analyst and Legislative Liaison for Southern Company Gas. She previously spent eight years working on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Since her diagnosis in 2011, Caroline has been very active in the lupus community. From participating in the yearly Walk to End Lupus Now in D.C. and Atlanta, serving as a knowledgeable voice in the community and sharing her story in Lupus Magazine, she is always seeking opportunities to drive awareness and support. Caroline resides in Atlanta’s Martin Manor neighborhood with her husband, Dan, along with their cat, Schmitty, and their puppy, Palma. They are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their first child in November.

Lauren Finney
Lauren Finney, a native Atlantan, is the current Editor in Chief of The Atlantan and Modern Luxury Interiors Atlanta. Previously, she worked in New York City as a fashion editor for many years at Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and more. At age 23, she developed a terrible full-body rash which later revealed itself to be Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, which she has now lived with and managed for over a decade.

Cara Sharenko
After pursuing a career on Broadway in New York, Cara Sharenko had to move home to Atlanta to start a new medicine to battle her lupus symptoms. Five years later, Cara works at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and is determined to raise awareness and funds for this disease that affects so many young women. Cara recently married her childhood sweetheart, Ben, and lives in Smyrna.

Shayla Shorter, PhD
Shayla Shorter was diagnosed with Lupus at 8 years old after several months of high fevers, rashes and painful arthritis. Her early experience with lupus inspired her to pursue a PhD in Immunology at Emory University. Shayla Shorter is currently a research scientist and educator specializing in lupus research. Besides understanding the science of the disease, she knows first-hand the unique challenges that accompany living with a chronic illness as a child. Shayla is committed to helping others (particularly children) to pursue their dreams no matter what obstacle they face.

Carmen Taylor
In her junior year, Carmen Taylor was a passenger in a jeep that flipped several times on the expressway. The accident triggered a series of aggressive flare ups that were becoming increasing hard to manage with the prescriptions she was prescribed. After years of frustration with my symptoms, she had her lymph nodes removed and tested. The diagnosis was lupus. She joined a support group which she now leads called the Young Adults with Lupus. She says “YAWL was just the blessing I needed because I needed to know there were other people out there like me.”