Trudy is our Administrative Assistant at MHG.
Trudy suffers from a disease called Lupus, of which she was diagnosed in 2007.
At first glance, because of her optimism and her love of life, you would never expect that Trudy is fighting an unpredictable chronic autoimmune disease, but her body faces a daily battle between the part of her that fights off infection trying to protect her and the disease trying to destroy her from the inside instead.
Trudy is on dialysis until she can receive a kidney transplant, but she continues to push forward thanks to her support system of friends, family, and coworkers. When asked how she stays so optimistic through the pain and suffering that this disease causes, her response was simple: “I continuously push myself – I was given this disease not as a curse, but because God knows I can be strong enough to carry on and inspire others.”
The month of May is recognized as Lupus Awareness Month to educate people about this cruel and mysterious disease that ravages the bodies of people we love. Here are a few facts from the Lupus Foundation of America about what Lupus is and is not to help you understand the disease better:
- Lupus is NOT contagious and cannot be “given” to another person.
- Lupus is NOT like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues.
- Lupus is NOT like or related to HIV or AIDS. In HIV or AIDS, the immune system is under-active; in lupus, the immune system is overactive.
- Symptoms of lupus can be treated, but there is no cure for the disease.
- Lupus affects people of races, ethnicities, and can be diagnosed to both men and women, but African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans are diagnosed with lupus two or three times more frequently.
- Lupus can affect any organ system of the body, including the heart, kidneys, lungs, blood, joints and skin.
- Lupus is not a form of arthritis, but many people with lupus do suffer from joint and/or muscle pain
- An estimated 1.5 million Americans and 5 million people worldwide are living with lupus.
- On average, the annual cost of lupus, including expenses related to treatment and loss of productivity, exceed $20,000, and can increase to $63,000 if the kidneys are involved.
- Lupus is unpredictable: It is a disease of flares and remissions. Knowing that lupus is unpredictable may help other people understand a patient’s physical and emotional ups and downs, as well as the changes that you may have to make to schedules, plans, and commitments.
Trudy, you are an inspiration to all of us!
To learn more about the Lupus Disease and to find out how you can contribute to the research for a cure, visit: http://www.lupus.org/