I'Dallys E. - Diagnosed at age 13
Looking from the outside in, you couldn’t see all the struggles, and the trials and tribulations a person like me who is living with lupus goes through. From a young age, I always strived and aspired to reach my goals of participating in sports, modeling, acting and education. Not only have some of these goals been put on hold, but most have been completely stopped due to the struggles of having an auto immune disease like lupus.
At the young age of 9 I started having symptoms of heavy fatigue and joint pain, and didn’t get officially diagnosed with lupus until the age of 13. Being diagnosed with SLE and discoid lupus at such a young age was hard to process, but I didn’t have any other choice but to grow up fast.
Lupus has impacted my life greatly, causing me to be on high doses of powerful meds, infusions, bone graphs, bone replacements, implants and an extreme amount of hospital ER and ICU visits. But throughout it all I’ve managed to keep my head extremely high, and my spirits lifted knowing better days are coming and a cure is coming.
Managing my lupus has been a constant struggle for me. I’ve had to learn about my body inside and out, while grasping knowledge left and right about this disease. I am extremely excited for my future and praying every day for a cure. What gives me hope is my close circle of family and friends. They never forget to remind me how much I’ve been through and how confident, beautiful and strong my journey has made me. They encourage me daily to live my best life, knowing what I’ve been through and how far I’ve come. I could never give up on myself, and neither could the team that keeps pushing me, from family members to close friends, supporters, doctors and researchers -- thank you for all that you do for me and others like me living with this gruesome disease called lupus.