Meet our Support Group Facilitators
The Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana Chapter is fortunate to have professionally-trained volunteers to offer support to lupus patients, friends, and family members throughout the state.These wonderful volunteers facilitate our support group meetings:
Bonnie Sweeney's interest and commitment to supporting the Lupus Foundation has been grounded in the 30 years she shared the lupus journey with her sister. Nancy Asbell set the standard for living with lupus with grace, goals, achievement, love, compassion and a mantra: Celebrate the Day. Bonnie is a practicing occupational therapist, an Army daughter, retired Army occupational therapist, an Army spouse and Army mother. She incorporates tai chi, yoga (including seated) and meditation into her wellness programs. In addition to serving as a facilitator, Bonnie leads our tai chi class that meets on the 4th Saturday of the month.
Dr. Marie Kelly-Worden’s interest in autoimmune disease began with the diagnosis of her brother with Torrette’s Syndrome with ADHA and OCD at the age of 6. She holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from Wayne State University School of Medicine as well as training at Northwestern University and the Cleveland Clinic in the department of Neurosurgery. One of her early student worker’s suffered with lupus and she began a project looking at the effects of antinuclear antibodies using the Lewis Rat Model. Marie has continued to work with autoimmune antibodies and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at BSU. Her research interests include autoimmune and neurological disease. Her current projects focus on the role of antibodies in cancer therapy, sub-characterizing lupus types and the role of specific neuronal proteins in cells. She is a married mother of four wonderful children.
Kayla Lockwood’s lupus journey began when her best friend passed away due to lupus complications in 2011. She herself began to present symptoms of lupus a few years later. These situations led her to wanting to make a difference and leaving a positive impact on the lives she touches. Kayla is also a facilitator for the online support group. She has an associate's degree in education and is currently studying public and nonprofit management at IU. She works at a rec center and enjoys working out in her spare time to improve her health in whatever ways she can. Kayla joined other lupus activists in Washington DC in June at the 2017 National Policy Summit: Advocacy In Action where she shared her story, educated Members of Congress about lupus, and made the case for why more must be done to advance our cause on Capitol Hill. Kayla strongly believes in the saying "Be kind to everyone you meet because you never know what battles they may be fighting."
Tina Miller has been living with symptoms of lupus as far back as 2007 but was finally diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD), which is an overlap autoimmune disease that includes lupus, in 2011. She had to quit her job as an Office Administrator in 2013 and has since enjoyed becoming a bit obsessed with dogs and dog training. She also took up writing and painting to keep her mind working. Tina also finds solace in offering a caring, empathetic ear to those who need one, which is also the main reason she became a facilitator, to offer caring support to others going through similar situations.
Alisha Jones is a happily married mother of a 16 -year-old son that keeps her on her toes. She works part time as a radiology veterinary technician. In her spare time she enjoys refinishing furniture, scrap booking and reading. Alisha was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus in 2010 and has since been on a journey to find a cure. Alisha is excited to get the word out about the Greenfield support group to let others know that they are not alone in this fight. Alisha truly believes that "Together we will find a cure!"
Karen Swain was diagnosed with lupus in 1996 at the age of 21 and has been on disability since 1997. She considers herself lucky to have been diagnosed in the early stages. Before becoming a facilitator, family and friends would refer other people with lupus to Karen. She loved being able to help others by sharing what she had learned and making them feel better and not alone. When the support group meeting started in Greenfield in 2013, Karen attended and a year later was asked to be a co-facilitator. Karen is taking on more of a leadership role in the support group meeting this year and is ready to get out in the community even more and make a difference.
Carla Day was diagnosed with lupus in January 1988 and for the past several years has served the Indiana Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America in many areas. Carla has served as food committee chair for the Indianapolis Walk, has participated on the Walk Planning Committee helping organize the annual Walk and has served as the Indy Walk chair for 2015 and 2016. She also coordinates and staffs the health fair events in Indy. Carla received our Chapter’s Volunteer of the Year award in 2014, and in 2015 Carla was formally inducted into the Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana Chapter Hall of Fame. In 2016 she was honored by the national LFA as the Volunteer of the Year. Since 2016 Carla has also served on our Chapter’s Board of Directors. It is a passion of Carla’s to help others living with lupus. Carla is married to Happy Day. She currently serves as the Nurse’s Guild president at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, where she has been a member for 28 years. She enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family.
Jennifer Popp enjoys living life to the fullest, one day at a time. After a 2009 lupus diagnosis ended her career as an air traffic controller, she trained to become an air traffic control training specialist at the Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center. Jennifer graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and enjoys any chance she gets to cheer for the Boilermakers! Jennifer is an avid sports fan who spends her free time with family and friends, writing, traveling, playing with her dog, Smokey, and learning yoga. While seeking support for living and coping with lupus, she met Carla Day and joined the Indianapolis East lupus support group. The support and information shared by this awesome group helped Jennifer learn more about the disease and more about herself in the process. She is excited to continue on her lupus journey as a support group facilitator and eager to share her positive helpful vibes with others living with or affected by lupus.
Carol Adams was a critical care nurse for 30+ years and had to retire 4 years after being diagnosed with lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Ten years after her diagnosis she saw a call out for support group facilitators on the LFA website and felt it was something she could do to give back since she was no longer employed. She can happily say that she has gained so much personally from meeting the wonderful lupus survivors in her group! She only hopes that she has touched their lives and helped them navigate chronic illness as much as they have helped her.
Kristy Carter became familiar with lupus at a very early age. She was a caregiver to her mother who was diagnosed with SLE at the age of 24. After years of being a caregiver, Kristy was diagnosed with SLE in June 2009. Wanting to be more proactive in being an advocate for lupus, Kristy has become a facilitator for LFA on the Southside of Indy. She and her co-facilitator are dedicated to providing a positive support group for others and their families.
Debbie Rogers’ support of the Lupus Foundation support group comes from her own experiences after being diagnosed 15 years ago. Even before she was diagnosed she was aware of the disease due to working in the healthcare field as a Medical Assistant and having two lupus patients that visited the office regularly. As a secondary educational professional, she found herself discussing it more and more in the classroom only to find out people were just not that aware of lupus. The support group will be that platform to not only educate on the awareness but will give those suffering or caring for someone with it an outlet to share their stories and to spread the awareness of lupus.
Trina Terrell is a single mother of one daughter and is expecting her first grandchild very soon. She was diagnosed with lupus in April 2000. Trina is always being asked questions about lupus and how she copes with it on a daily basis. Her positive feedback to the questions is what sparked her desire to become a facilitator. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, watching football and volunteering in the community. Trina’s Motto: “I have lupus…It doesn’t have me”.
Stacy Weller is a married mother of 3 athletic kids. She has worked as a direct support professional for the last 14½ years. In her spare time, she enjoys going to her children's sporting events, reading, and motorcycle riding with her husband, Craig. Stacy is part of a motorcycle group called the Krazy Horse Krew. This group is Stacy's extended family. A few people in this group are in some way affected by lupus and together, they have made it their mission to spread awareness and raise funds for the LFA, Indiana Chapter. Their annual motorcycle event has raised over $35,000 for our Chapter! Stacy's passion for spreading lupus awareness began shortly after her mother's diagnosis in 2011. Stacy's diagnosis came just shy of 4 years later. She became a facilitator to help provide support for others and their families.
Jovita Smith has been the facilitator for the Lafayette support group since 2014. She was diagnosed with lupus 23 years ago. Jovita helps our Chapter spread lupus awareness by representing us at health fairs in her area throughout the year.
Kayla Lockwood’s lupus journey began when her best friend passed away due to lupus complications in 2011. She herself began to present symptoms of lupus a few years later. These situations led her to wanting to make a difference and leaving a positive impact on the lives she touches. Kayla is also a facilitator for the Bloomington support group. She has an associate's degree in education and is currently studying public and nonprofit management at IU. She works at a rec center and enjoys working out in her spare time to improve her health in whatever ways she can. Kayla joined other lupus activists in Washington DC in June at the 2017 National Policy Summit: Advocacy In Action where she shared her story, educated Members of Congress about lupus, and made the case for why more must be done to advance our cause on Capitol Hill. Kayla strongly believes in the saying "Be kind to everyone you meet because you never know what battles they may be fighting."
Samantha Walker has been a nurse since November 2000; she never thought that she would one day be diagnosed with a chronic illness such as lupus. In 2009 Samantha had a TIA, a mini stroke that eventually led to a diagnosis of lupus. She is committed to help other with lupus and help get awareness out to the public. Samantha was previously a facilitator for the Bloomington support group but had to resign the role due to her health. Since she understands firsthand how it can sometimes be difficult to attend an in-person support group, she's excited to be able to help provide support to others who may also struggle with this.
Nancy Estephanie Magana (South Bend) is an only child with only one living parent that helps her out in everything she can. Nancy is outgoing and loves to reach and help as many people as she can. She volunteers with The American Heart Association and the Lupus Society of Illinois as a Junior Board Member. Having been diagnosed with lupus at 15 years old, she has come a long way and graduated college with a cosmetology degree and is still in college furthering her education. She doesn't believe in giving up and letting lupus win. Among her battles was open heart surgery when she was only 22 year old, which is how she got involved with the Heart Association and furthering her work to help educate people about lupus and how it can affect any organ at any age.
LeAnn Washington is a mother of 5 awesome children that she calls Team Washington. She is family- and community-oriented and is an active member in her church and truly lives by the church motto: Affect the World One by One! She has her MBA with a concentration in leadership. LeAnn and her children are very close and are always looking for way to help others and fun things to do. She decided to be a facilitator to empower fellow people affected by lupus and share her belief that they are so much more than their disease. LeAnn has been an active supporter of LFA for the last 3 years after being diagnosed with SLE. Prior to her diagnosis she collaborated with the Lupus Alliance of Michigan through her church-sponsored annual health fairs. One of LeAnn’s favorite quotes is “a ship that sails backwards never reaches the sunset.” She states, "We are only moving ahead; towards a cure!"
We are looking for co-facilitators for the Bloomington, Kokomo Lafayette and online support groups to join this fantastic group. If you are interested, please contact Debbie Campbell.