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Support comes in all forms

4

Lupus is a chronic disease which means it’s something that is life-long with no cure. I am doing well today, but that does not mean that’s true tomorrow. I knew I would be dealing with lupus for the rest of my life. Given that, I quickly realized I would have to rely on, and ask for support, from those around me. For someone who is fiercely independent and rather “Type A,” this is very humbling. Asking for help used to make me feel inadequate. Now, lupus forces me to drop my pride and accept support. 

If I’m in a flare, my husband Patrick does mostly everything around the house including: meal preparation, cleaning, and caring for our dog, Cash. Patrick is my warrior, ready to fight with me on the front lines through the pain. My dad is also one of my strongest supporters because his help is readily available and always unconditional.

People often ask what they can do to support me. Sometimes, the answer is as simple as taking a few minutes to grow their understanding of lupus. My friends and family offer assistance in many different ways. For instance, one time my brother snow plowed my driveway with his truck. I never asked him to do that; he kindly stopped over. My sister-in-law makes us healthy meals at times; my neighbors send over snacks and flowers; and a friend once dropped off a favorite funny movie of mine. I get cards, calls, and texts just to see how I’m doing and many prayers are said for my well-being. Trust me, it’s those seemingly little things that are hugely appreciated for someone dealing with lupus.

My husband has expressed his feelings of helplessness with this disease because he can’t take it away from me. Until I volunteered with the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota, I felt defeated at times too. It’s only until I started sharing my story, particularity when I started fundraising, I felt as though I was participating in an answer rather than lamenting about the problem. I know I’m not curing anything today, but the money I am raising swings the pendulum in the right direction.

Sometimes there is nothing anyone CAN do but give of their gifts, whatever those gifts may be. If you’ve read this post so far, please go one step farther. If you feel grateful for life, volunteer your time. If you are blessed financially, consider a donation to the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota. If you enjoy the gift of good health, then please join myself and many others at the Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Run. We have less than one week to go (for the Twin Cities event) so let’s mobilize our collective gifts for those battling lupus!


Discussion

  1. Achieve Birmingham  September 26, 2013

    Wow Chris, thank you for sharing this part of yourself with us. I also consider myself a fairly independent person, and I always felt like it was a small defeat if I needed to ask for help. However, as I continue to move forward, I have realized how wrong I had been. That support and that help actually does help make us stronger human beings, and the avoidance of asking for help only had worked to handicap myself in tougher situations.

    • chris c  October 11, 2013

      Thank you for the kind words, achieve. Yes, it sure is humbling to have to give into this disease. We have to let go of so much. Sometimes the hardest part is our pride.

      We all need help in life. I used to look around and think, this person or that person doesnt seem to need help with anything. I guess i realize that we all do. It just may look different on the outside.

      We all have to take care of ourselves on those tough days. The way i wrap my head around it is to pay it forward to someone else or show my gratitude on those good days. Seems to feel like it balances out.

      The very best of health to you. Thanks for reaching out. Xo

  2. Debi  October 7, 2013

    Good Morning Chris,
    My name is Debi Vanda and I am 39 years old, I was diagnosed with lupus when I was 17. I had a kidney transplant in 2003. I have attended the MN Lupus walks for the last few years and I enjoy hearing all the ambassador stories and was wondering how one would get involved with the MN Lupus foundation itself and how I would be able to submit my story to be involved in the ambassador program.
    Thank you in advance for your time,
    Debi Vanda

    • chris c  October 11, 2013

      Wow! Debi, you sure are an inspiration and have a compelling story!

      I saw a write up about being the ambassador in the lupus newsletter. Ill get back to you about when thats set to come out this year. My fingers are crossed for you!

      P.s. did we happen to meet at any of the walks this year? Its been an amazing time and my heart is just filled with love after them. Let me know if you have any more questions and ill get back to you about the timeframe.

      Best of health to you! Xo

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