The Fight of Her Life—A Mother and Father Speak Out
Our baby girl, Meona, was diagnosed with lupus when she was only 8 years old. And she gained her wings three months ago today, at the tender age of 23.
When the coroner’s office called, they said they would get back to us with the autopsy results as soon as they could, “because people don’t usually die from lupus.”
How was it that the person on the other end of the phone could be that misinformed? People do die from complications of lupus. Our beautiful daughter is one of them.
By the age of 12, Meona was advocating for lupus awareness and it gave her life a greater sense of purpose. Middle school and high school are tough years to navigate for healthy teens, but for Meona, it was even harder. Her medications caused weight gain and she couldn’t do things the other kids did because she needed to avoid sun exposure. She had a key for the school elevator because she could not do the stairs. At one point, she was sent home from school on a weekly basis for fevers and stomach pain related to her lupus. But despite her setbacks, her spirits remained high and so did her passion for lupus awareness.
Meona was admitted to the hospital in late August of this year when lupus compromised her central nervous system, causing her to be confused and disoriented. During her three-week stay, her condition worsened but the physicians were unable to find the cause. She lost mobility and was in a wheelchair; her speech was labored; and while she had the words in her head, she was barely able to get them out with a stutter. With some improvement in her condition, she was released to go home in early September, still without an official diagnosis of her symptoms.
Meona was very independent and didn’t want to stay with us; she wanted to go to her own apartment, and if you knew her, you would know that she was very stubborn. We tried calling her on Saturday, September 15, but she didn’t answer her phone and she didn’t call us back. When we got no answer on Sunday, we drove to her apartment and found our baby girl lifeless...something NO parent should have to experience.
So we’re asking you to help support the fight against lupus by donating $23.00 today —one dollar for each year that we were blessed to have our daughter with us. Your donation to the Indiana Chapter will help bring lupus awareness to the people of Indiana. Our daughter fought back until she was too exhausted to continue. Now it’s up to the rest of us to do our part. We need a cure for this cruel disease, because people DO die from complications of lupus. And one death from lupus is too many. Thank you for your support of the Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana Chapter.