HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va. – It’s a disease that needs more attention, Lupus.
1.5 million Americans are living with the long-term autoimmune disease which disproportionately affects women, and racial and ethnic minorities, but there are new tools available to women to help them feel empowered.
Lupus can affect any part of the body. Some of the most common symptoms include debilitating fatigue, joint pain and a butterfly-shaped skin rash on the face.
“I was 19 when I noticed I was having really sever headaches, severe joint pain and to the point where I couldn’t put my bag on my shoulder. Sensitivity to cold and sunlight and I started losing patches of my hair,” said Brooklyn poet and singer, Shanelle Gabriel. “A year and a half after noticing those symptoms, I was diagnosed by my rheumatologist.”
Recently, the lupus warrior along with Dr. Joan Von Feldt, a professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, sat down with WBOY in hopes to discuss the importance of community support and tools, like “Us in Lupus,” that help women battling the disease feel empowered.
“It [Us in Lupus] has a check list and diary and a way to connect with the wider lupus community and I think it’s just so important to be connected with other women in lupus so that you learn from each other,” said Dr. Von Feldt.
For lupus tools and resources, head to https://www.usinlupus.com/.