My mom was diagnosed with lupus in her 20’s, years before she had me. She then started working at the Lupus Foundation of America, Greater Ohio Chapter (LFA, GOC) in 2008. I grew up around lupus and the LFA, GOC. I have gone from volunteering at walks and stuffing mail into envelopes, to managing social media and producing a podcast.
My earliest memories of the LFA, GOC are sitting at the conference table with my coloring books and my summer reading. Sometimes Suzanne would have me stuff and seal envelopes at the conference table. I didn’t really like volunteering when I was younger. I saw it as something I had to do, but as I grew up it became something I wanted to do.
In school I made lupus the focus of a lot of my projects and presentations. I liked talking about lupus because it was not only something that affected my family, but I was creating awareness of a disease that a lot of people didn’t know about. I interned at the office during my senior year of high school. I came in on Thursday afternoons and put together slideshows and burnt CD’s for upcoming walks. In college, I continued to make lupus the focus of a lot of my projects. I even met a couple of people with lupus.
Thankfully, My moms lupus has been under control for years and she is continuing her work at the LFA, GOC. Growing up around lupus has given me a unique insight on the disease and how it affects people. I have taken on many roles at the LFA, GOC and I have seen many people come and go throughout the years. The things I have learned and the people I have met have all played a crucial role in getting where I am today. I love what I do, and I will always be an advocate for this cruel disease.