“I’m a Lupus Warrior”

2 Aug

ImageMy name is Zoe Jones and I live in Easton, KS. I am 16 years old and I was diagnosed with SLE in 2012. 

Autoimmune diseases have always been a part of my life since 3rd grade. I started out with a bruise on my knee from bumping it on the playground; soon the bruise grew so large that it covered most of my leg. My mom took me to my pediatrician to see if it was anything we should be worried about. My doctor told me to go to Children’s Mercy Hospital that night. After a couple blood tests I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, (ITP), to this day I still don’t know how to pronounce itIt’s a disease in which your autoimmune system destroys platelets which are very necessary for normal blood clotting. Looking back at how sick I was really chokes me up. In 2007, I had a splenectomy which thankfully cured me from ITP. But just my luck, I was a part of the 7%-30% who develop Lupus several years later.

 I don’t let living with lupus get me down. Some days are rougher than others, but I always remember that someone has it worse than me. That said, lupus is definitely tough to deal with sometimes. From medicine treatments, regular hospital visits, and the constant body aches you need someone there to talk to. When SLE gets to me, I talk to my mom. She always knows what to do to make me forget that I have lupus and that life goes on. I can beat lupus. With help from my doctors, family, and the LFA, I know that everything will be okay if I just keep my head up. Without their help, I would be lost.

This summer, I attended the LFA Heartland Chapter’s Youth Retreat. It was great to meet other girls my age fighting to overcome the challenge of living with lupus. It inspired me to tell the world about our fight, support my new friends living with the disease, and find a cure! Lupus may be a battle, but it’s a battle that we can certainly overcome. I know that we are an inspiration to our families because every day we live with lupus… and every day we don’t let it beat us. 

I’ll be at the Walk to End Lupus Now in Kansas City. I hope I’ll see you there.

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