Thirty-One Faces of Hope: Kelli Williams
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.
Kelli Williams, Lupus Researcher and Support Group Facilitator
Around the age of 16, I was diagnosed with SLE. My family had no idea what lupus was. Originally, I suffered from joint pain, fatigue, and Raynaud's disease. However, as a sophomore in college I developed pleuritis and pericarditis. I found it difficult to go to school and function. I was able to graduate with both my bachelor and master degrees. Now, I have been able to find my purpose in fighting this disease.
My passion is for people, especially those whose voices are not heard. While going through school, I saw a need for teens and young adults struggling with lupus. It is important to have a strong support system while fighting this disease, and often times younger lupus patients struggle with this. They wonder how they will accomplish their dreams, move-out of their parent’s house, and etc. For me, the Chapter can be that support system by creating a network of resources. Currently, I am a support group leader and I absolutely love it!
My passion has led me to lupus research. My goal is to find an effective treatment and/or cure for lupus patients, while helping patients suffering from disparities in under-served communities. In addition, I want to improve patient’s quality of life because what good does it do to fight a disease and still be unable to live your life to the fullest. I have found that lupus patients are enduring individuals that are capable of great things. We want to be productive members in society and our community. My mission is to help them achieve this.
Through research and advocacy WE CAN and WILL BEAT LUPUS. Together we can learn so much about this challenging disease. My best advice for those surviving and fighting lupus is to keep going, have faith, and most of all believe in yourself!
- Kelli Williams