Lupus has never skipped a generation on my mother's side of the family, including myself and now possibly my five year old granddaughter, Savannah. When diagnosed in 1987, I was given 10-15 years to live. I immediately told myself that I may have Lupus, but it will not have me! Every year I would make a small goal and there was always a bigger goal such as watching my son graduate high school. Later I would make a goal to be at his wedding, etc., never expecting to be able to see my grandchild come into this world. That was when I said, "I will beat this savage wolf inside my body!"
I have watched as people have pass on and others diagnosed, and our bodies fighting everything that Lupus throws at us. One family member with only one kidney, that gave out; an artificial heart valve, Grand Mal seizes and clinically dead on several occasions. Another family member with a pacemaker at the age of 45, along with many other complications. We have also had Neo-Natal Lupus that took the life of a small child in our family.
Me, well at the age of 50 I had a Cardiac Loop Recorder put in, and through the years Lupus has affected not just my heart but kidneys, spleen, muscles, joints, brain, eyes, as well as other organs. I am on disability and just received a service dog to help with my daily needs.
I love to garden, working in the dirt helps me just feel better. I can no longer throw that big bag of dirt over my shoulder, so my little trailer on the back of my mower does it for me. Working outdoors in the sun is a challenge, sitting in one position too long, getting up and down, whew! Some days I feel like its everything I can do just to get out of bed, but get up I do, push on I do, for its all I know. I do it everyday for those that no longer can just to show Lupus who is running the show. Sure I've had the ambulance rides, hospital stays, days on the couch, but back up I will get and with a positive attitude.
I plan on walking this event with Layka by my side. Will it be easy? No. Will I pay for it later? Most likely. I will walk not only for myself, but for those family members that can't or have passed on. I will walk in their honor.
If I meet my goal, great! If not its ok too. All that matters is I tried and put forth my effort, bonus is meeting others with Lupus and exchanging stories, research data and family matters. So, if you are able please give, and if not just send me a high five and wish me luck. That's just fine with me. I know I will have a wonderful day either way.
Virginia "Ginger" Guindon
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