Thirty-One Faces of Hope: Catherine Areu
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.
Living with Lupus for the past 8 years has been challenging. In 2013 I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. I remember that day like it was yesterday. After a long year of misdiagnoses, numerous doctors’ visits, and many biopsies it was a relief to finally have a diagnosis. That year I encountered a member of the Lupus foundation. To this day she has been my mentor, my confidant, and my friend. The lupus foundation has helped me as well as many others in so many ways.
My Lupus attacks my heart. I have had Pericarditis 5 times within the past five years. This illness is severe in that we never know what each day will be like. One day you are feeling well, and the next you are at the ER. I hope and pray that a cure is found for Lupus. With your help and donations that possibility can become a reality.
The treatments I have had to undergo for my illness have not been easy. I have been on numerous chemotherapy medications all of them not putting me into remission. For myself, the only medication that has helped me tremendously was Rituxan. Although I am thankful for this medication, and its relief it has provided me, I am still uncertain the reaction my body will have in the future due to taking this medication.
Like many living with Lupus I have a family. The uncertainty of my future health is always at the forefront of our minds. When I was diagnosed, I never ever said why me. I always said why not me when asked how I felt about having this diagnosis. Lupus can strike anyone at any age. It is so important that we get the word out there about this illness so a cure can be found.
Although I have an amazing team of doctors, and a great support system, it is still not enough. Time is of the essence as everyday that goes by we could be closer to finding a cure. Many of you know someone who is living with Lupus. The medications, doctors’ visits, and medical bills can be overwhelming. The Georgia Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America helps those in need of assistance with these necessities. Through your donations anything is possible. I ask that you give, raise money, and raise awareness for the Lupus foundation and all their hard work.