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Providing Answers, Support and Hope in Georgia
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Thirty-One Faces of Hope: Brooklyn Sumbry

The lupus community includes people living with lupus, friends, family and supporters across Georgia. For Lupus Awareness Month, we would like to highlight some of our lupus heroes and champions. 

Brooklyn Sumbry

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Hello, my name is Brooklyn Sumbry and I’m 12 years old. I was recently diagnosed with Lupus. The last couple of months have been an emotional rollercoaster. From looking at me on the outside I look perfectly healthy. It all started in March after my last cheer competition. I was running a fever and in pain all over my body. 

My mom took me to the doctor, and they couldn’t figure out what was going on with me, so they sent me to the pediatric emergency room. At the emergency room they did blood work and an ultrasound. The nurse came in and told my mom that the ultrasound came back good, but my blood work didn’t. The nurse stated my blood platelets were 12k.

I was sent to the Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. There they ran several other tests.  After a couple days of being in the hospital they diagnosed me with this rare blood disorder called ITP and released me from the hospital. We had a follow up appointment in Atlanta a couple of days later to see a hematologist. The hematologist did a CBC (complete blood count) and told us my platelets had went up to 87k and I could resume my normal activities. I had to go back to see the hematologist in 4 weeks. We drove back to Atlanta in a good mood and was ready to hear some good news. The hematologist did a CBC and told me my blood platelets were down to 14k. That was the most devastating news of my life. The only thing I could think of was cheerleading and will I ever be able to cheer again.  The hematologist also told me that some of my other blood test came back with red flags and that I had to see a rheumatologist. I left the appointment feeling hopeless and not understanding what was going on with me. 

My rheumatologist appointment was scheduled for 05/16/19. However, my mom received a call on April 24th asking could I be in Atlanta on April 25th to see the rheumatologist. I remember my mom telling me that whatever news the doctor told us I was not going to be a victim to it and that I would be victorious. 

On April 25th I meet my rheumatologist and that’s when he told me I had lupus and that it was no cure for it. He also told me with the proper treatment I could live a normal life. I was relieved to find out what was going on with me. The doctor immediately started me on treatment and told me that I had to see him monthly. Having lupus have been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I’m hoping that they find a cure for Lupus so that kids and adults like me will not continue dealing with the pain and worry. I also hope to one day become an advocate for people with lupus so I can educate others on this mysterious disease.