Letter from President
This is my first letter to you as President of the Lupus Society of Illinois. I’m very fortunate as I start this new role, I am able to work alongside Charles Brummell, past president, who is continuing on as CEO.
Although my position is new, I have been communicating with the lupus community since June of 2006 when I started at the LSI.
Like many of you, I don’t remember the first time I heard the word “lupus” – but I remember the first time I understood what it meant. Even though I’d read about the signs and symptoms and facts about the disease, I only understood what lupus meant after hearing the stories of lupus champions themselves.
There are stories of heartbreak and heroism and of struggle and strength – sometimes in the same story. For instance, weeks after I started working at the LSI, a man shared his story with me. His wife had lost her battle with lupus shortly after her diagnosis but years after her symptoms began. As we know, early diagnosis and treatment is critical in the fight against lupus. His wife had suffered symptoms for years without treatment. The silver lining, he told me, was that his daughter learned about lupus early and consequently was diagnosed with lupus. Early diagnosis and treatment certainly increased her chances of living longer with lupus. His wife’s death saved their daughter’s life, he said.
His story has always stuck with me – as many stories over the years have. The power of these experiences convinces me that personal stories are the most effective form of lupus education.
We want to help you tell your stories – we have several opportunities available – the Story Sharing program, the Illinois Lupus Walk personal and team pages, Facebook posts and events and Lupus Charity Runners fundraising pages to name a few. And we are always open to new ideas.
I look forward to hearing your story and (if I haven’t already) I hope to meet you at an upcoming lupus event. And as I move forward in my new role, I look forward to working together to achieve our mission.
As Charles has said – and I agree…
Together we make a difference.
President, Lupus Society of Illinois