Thirty-One Faces of Hope: Danielle Walker
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.
Meet Danielle Walker
My name is Danielle Walker and I’ve lived with Lupus for 12 years. I vividly remember noticing a weird looking red spot on my left eyebrow during my senior year of college in 2011. At first, I thought nothing of it, but I eventually went to the dermatologist and had a biopsy done. Weeks later while standing on the train platform waiting for the train to go to work, the dermatologist office called me and nonchalantly told me I had Lupus, and it was incurable. The word incurable was crippling - the whole train ride I tried to wrap my head around it. What is Lupus? I didn’t have any symptoms or clear signs of illness. Speaking with the doctor again, I was informed that they weren’t 100% sure I had Lupus but prescribed me some medication anyway. I refused to take medication for something no one could tell me I definitely had.
Fast forward, Oct 2014 I woke up one morning for work and couldn’t move. That was the true start to my Lupus journey. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, trying to understand symptoms, signs of flare ups, and my new limitations. I was hospitalized for the first time in July 2017, then again in November 2018. My hair started falling out, joint pain/stiffness was a constant and depression hit me hard. I hoped that a move down south would be beneficial. So, I moved to GA Jan 2019, but that brought on different symptoms and a bad flare up. I ended up with skin lesions for months and my weight went from 147 to 220 within 6months. It was rough on me in all aspects. However, one thing Lupus has taught me is that I am stronger than I ever thought. Lupus may knock me down, but I always get back up swinging - I’m a Warrior!
My symptoms started to improve Jan 2021 and I’ve been doing much better overall. There will always be symptoms and one thing or another, but I roll with it and try not to get down. I no longer constantly question God or focus on what I used to do or how I used to be. I focus on loving me now. I am thankful to be here and to have an amazing support system. My fiancé, family and friends are always there for me. Not to mention the many amazing Lupies I share this fight with. We may or may not know each other personally but regardless we support, encourage, and uplift each other.
Thank You to Our Generous Sponsor
Choosing to prioritize your kidney health might be uncomfortable, but the reality is that up to 30% of people who live with lupus nephritis may experience kidney failure, which can lead to dialysis or even a kidney transplant. Luckily, there are steps you can take now that may help, such as scheduling routine tests and asking your doctor about treatment options. Talk to your doctor to learn more about routine testing and treatment.
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