Lupus has never skipped a generation on my mother's side of the family, including myself and now possibly our six year old granddaughter, Savannah. When diagnosed in 1987, I was given 10-15 years to live. Immediately I said, "I may have Lupus but it does not have me!" Every year I would set a few goals and one large goal, such as being around long enough to see my son graduate high school. Never expecting to be here long enough to have a grandchild, and that day had come too. That was when I said to myself as I wept holding Savannah as a newborn, "I will beat this savage wolf that thinks it can reside inside of my body!" I have watched as others have passed on, while still more are diagnosed; our bodies fighting everything that Lupus throws at us.
A family member with only one kidney that finally gave out, an artificial heart valve, gran mall seizures, and clinicly dead several times before finally passing on. Another with a pace maker at the age of 45, and numerous other complications. We even had a case of Neo-Natal Lupus that had taken the life from a small child in our family history. As I sit here with a Cardiac Loop Recorder Implant to monitor Vaso-Spasms of the heart, I also battle with damage to my kidneys, spleen, muscles, eyes, and other organs. Disability and a service dog help with my daily life.
I love to garden, somehow the dirt just makes me feel better. I can no longer throw the large bag of dirt over my shoulder and carry it wherever I wish, so now I have a small trailer on the back of my lawn tractor to replace the muscle that I have lost. 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.
Sincerely, Virginia "Ginger" Guindon