My name is Chris Cronick and I’m honored to have been chosen as the 2013 Lupus Ambassador for the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota (LFM). I’m 37 and I was diagnosed with lupus in 2010. Prior to my diagnosis, I was in and out of the hospital for six months. It was a very scary time, not knowing what was wrong. I was tested for everything, but eventually was diagnosed with lupus SLE.
I have found that many times those of us with lupus tend to have other autoimmune diseases and I am no exception. I also have had rheumatoid arthritis for nearly 15 years and I have celiac disease too, another autoimmune disease in which my body is allergic to wheat and gluten. I plan to delve further into my life-changing journey with lupus in subsequent blog posts.
Having lupus has given me many blessings and curses along the way. One positive result is a renewed respect for my health. There is so much I can’t control when it comes to lupus but there are a few things I can do to feel better. I live one day at a time with a careful watch of my diet, sleep, rest, medications, fitness and stress levels. Managing these things certainly doesn’t take lupus away, but it does help. It’s a constant balancing act.
There’s no “how-to” manual for lupus, but there is support out there. I encourage each of you to check out some of the workshops and events the foundation is sponsoring throughout the year. LFM staff, volunteers and researchers go above and beyond the call of duty to provide resources and I want to thank each of them for their continued commitment and efforts. Thank you!
I’m excited to kick off the Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Run on September 14 here in the Twin Cities. I’ll also be attending the Walk/5K in Rochester, on September 28 as well as Duluth, on October 5. I’m eager to meet everyone, raise funds and raise awareness, so please say hi!
At times, I’ve had an uphill battle with my health and I’ll be sharing more of my story in the following months. I haven’t always been able to be so open, but I feel I’m being called to share my struggles and triumphs with lupus so others may feel hopeful. I encourage your comments and questions because I think it’s important to stay connected in this disease. I want to wish you all the very best of health. Let’s stay hopeful together!