Martin M. - Diagnosed at age 16
My hope is that my personal story of battling lupus may encourage others to chase their goals, regardless of the complications lupus can bring.
To backtrack, I was diagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, at the age of 16. Since then, I have sought consistent treatment and medications to keep my kidney healthy and prevent lupus flares such as swelling, joint pain, and liquid build-up. Besides the consistent flares, I’ve gone through doses of chemotherapy, heavy medication dosages via pill and IV, and have already had two kidney biopsies. All to say, battling lupus hasn’t been easy.
Regardless, I’m here to share that there is hope. You can still accomplish anything you set your mind towards. You can choose to dwell and be overcome by the worry and anxiety that lupus can bring, or you can choose to dwell on what is in your control and live in the moment.
I think it’s a misconception that people with lupus cannot accomplish their goals. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Although lupus will make it difficult and often complicate things, you can still accomplish anything you set your mind towards.
On a personal note, I’m on track to graduate from college this December, a semester earlier than anticipated with a degree in economics and finance, have held countless jobs and internships, participated in sports and extracurricular activities, and have a line-up job at globally recognized tech company upon graduation. My most recent accomplishment was running in the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. This was by far one of the hardest things I’ve done. Battling joint point and edema (liquid built up in legs) during a marathon is no fun, but I finished the race.
I bring all this up with the hope that my story may inspire you to accomplish even greater things than me, despite battling the complications that lupus brings. Listen to your doctor and be cautious. However, don’t be overcome by lupus. You can accomplish even greater things. Choose what you dwell on and keep moving forward.