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Support Group Facilitators

Lupus Support Group Facilitators
Carla Drakes-Serrano

I enjoy helping lupus patients like me, by being their voice and listening to their concerns—just helping them find ways to cope with lupus. The most important reason is that they are my family now.

Jan Cirillo

Originally from Michigan, I have had systemic lupus for 25 years. I felt alone with my disease until I learned about starting a local support group in SW Florida. I love what I do because members come month after month to support each other.

Harvey Mackler

I am a caregiver for my wife. I have observed her struggles with lupus, and I will do most anything to help others similarly afflicted.

Karen Barkevich

I like being a group facilitator because I love to help people. As a person with lupus, I understand what others are going through; I lead so we can all help each other navigate this disease.

Marilyn Honahan

I like being a support group facilitator as I feel I can provide assistance and encouragement to newly diagnosed patients. Having been a patient myself (over 40 years) I hope that I am able to be an example to others that there can always be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Mary Kohn

I enjoy facilitating a lupus support group because it gives me the opportunity to be involved with the Lupus Foundation of America and to help others who are living with this illness.

Stacey Interlandi

I like being a facilitator to help others, especially when they are most vulnerable, scared, or worried. I can apply my many life “adventures” of living daily with lupus and my experiences in the corporate world, family life, and my own personal journey.

Jeanette Alston-Watkins

I love being an LFA Support Group facilitator because it allows me to help people from all stages of their lupus diagnosis. I love to see the progress and growth as they become their own advocates. We’ve even become family.

Natasha Slaughter

As a 10-year lupus warrior, I have learned to use my skills and abilities to live successfully with my illness. As a support group facilitator, I (would) like to share my knowledge and experiences to help others to live well with their lupus.

Adaobi Ugochukwu

I have been living with lupus since the age of 9 and was diagnosed at 12. I am passionate about lupus awareness and helping support others living with lupus, especially the newly diagnosed. I am interested in lupus research and want to pursue a career as a pediatric rheumatologist. In my free time I enjoy listening to music, especially Latin genres such as salsa and bachata, dancing, and going for nature walks.

Brianna Steidle

Brianna is the daughter of a lupus warrior and began her own autoimmune journey at 15 years old. She is a poetry master’s student at Johns Hopkins University; a long-time LFA, Florida Chapter event photographer, speaker, and volunteer; a hiking enthusiast; and (according to her dog) a top-notch fetch partner. What’s a chronic illness when you’re already staring down the challenges of being a twenty-something? With the Lupus Crew, she hopes to create a safe and welcoming space for other young people touched by this disease.

April Hall-Lloyd

I’m a proud Jacksonville native & graduate of the University of North Florida. I have 25+ years of combined experience in Property Management, Project Management, Property Maintenance, Real Estate and Mortgage Lending. My passion is people. My goal is to educate and inspire.

Teresa Cobb

I hope to spread awareness and help others understand, navigate, and live better this illness. The most important thing about me is that I am a Survivor.