This weekend I had the opportunity to participate in my first Walk for Lupus Now event. First, I want to thank everyone who helped me reach my fundraising goal. Shout out to Diane Hawkins, Annemarie Gray, Brad Hill, Chantay Dudley, Danielle Huff, Andrea Robinson, and a generous anonymous donor.
And I have to give a big thanks to my cousin/BFF LaTasha Merchant for coming to Birmingham for the weekend to be my walking buddy.
During the walk I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster. I met a woman who was walking for a friend of hers who died from lupus at the age of 31. That story broke my heart. But seeing so many families and friends out to support people suffering from lupus made me smile (as did the fact that it didn’t rain until the walk was done).
Thanks to information distributed at the event I also learned more about the disease and discovered just how empowering this knowledge can be. Cooking tedious meals and shopping for a long period of time have always left me completely exhausted. There was a time when I really beat myself up for this. I felt like I was just being lazy. I thought that maybe I felt tired simply because I have no enthusiasm for cooking. That it was all in my head. But some of the lupus information I received at the event mentioned these exact activities and how they can be particularly tiresome for lupus patients.
Additionally, there are several other recurring health problems I have that I felt were somehow my fault, but discovered they are actually related to lupus.
These things may sound small, but I can’t express how empowered I felt after gaining this knowledge. And in the end empowerment is exactly why I believe events like Walk for Lupus Now should exist.