Ed Heath (Supporter)
Hi, my name is Ed Heath. I have a very dear friend who has Lupus. Her name is Paige Stewart. I've come to know Paige through a very good friend & co-worker of mine who just happens to be her Aunt. By both talking with her Aunt as well as with Paige, I've learned a great deal about Paige's involvement with Lupus.
The very hardest thing about being a Lupus Supporter is learning of the pain that a loved one must endure. Like most diseases there are quiet periods & active times, & certain aspects where there is chronic pain. Seeing our loved ones enduring all that pain is even painful to me, & I'm a bystander,so to speak, in this terrible disease.
When Paige's Aunt gave me a first-hand account of a recent episode that put Paige in the hospital with lung problems, I almost cried over the phone. This poor girl could have died yet she fought bravely to see another day. Then another & so on, enduring more pain & different pains resulting from Lupus. She refuses to be brought down by Lupus & its terror, inspiring us all thru her courage & determination! By supporting someone with Lupus like Paige who leads by example, I've found myself more determined to persevere in certain aspects of my own life whereas I would have previously just given up hope. She's an inspiration to many people in general, but particularly to me.
I provide support to Paige mostly thru my written words to her in letters, txts, & cards. She has an "Inspiration Wall" in her room which she looks at each time she enters & exits the room. I provide her notes, poems I wrote, quotations from famous people, & wall hangings with inspirational messages on them so when she looks at or re-reads these items, she too will be re-inspired! I joined Team Tut which is Paige's Lupus Support Team because I feel a need to help her in any way I can. I'm intending to join Team Tut this Spring in next year's Lupus Walk.
Knowing Paige & the hurdles she has jumped over in order to live a reasonably normal life has personally given me more determination to overcome my own hurdles in life. Paige is a remarkable girl who displays a maturity that is far beyond her calendar year age. She allows herself to dream then tries to make those dreams a reality. Too often seniors such as myself, find ourselves too cynical with life & its setbacks & obstacles. My takeaway from Paige has been to renew my own dreams, not allowing cynicism to dampen or defeat me in achieving those dreams. My mantra has changed from a "well, maybe?" to a "Can Do!", & I often find myself reflecting on Paige's determination in fighting Lupus as My Inspiration!
I've always been a "people person". I believe the biggest change in my relationship with people since being a Lupus supporter has to be the additional compassion I now feel toward people. I'm sure there are many examples of Lupus survivors like Paige who seek only our understanding, not our pity. We owe them all a debt of gratitude for their love, strength, & resolve shown daily in their lives. As we the Lupus supporters gain strength ourselves from the many examples of Lupus survivors, we become better people.
I wish you much hope & success in this endeavor because I know how personal this issue is to you & that you have made Lupus Awareness as one of your "Life's Missions". It too is already on the Road to Success!!Love, Uncle Ed
Salahudin Nemley (Supporter)
Adeola Gbamuse (Supporter)
Who do you know who has Lupus? Paige Stewart
What is your relationship to this person? My significant Other. What is the hardest thing about being a Lupus Supporter? Seeing your friend or friends in constant pain or in the hospital.Tell a story that you went through with this person. Or a time where you were inspired by them. Paige Stewart was once in the hospital were i went to visit her. I don't see a lot of people I know and care about in the hospital so seeing her there made me feel sad and helpless. I prayed for her health & safety.What have you learned through supporting someone with lupus? I've learned that the biggest or most supportive thing you can do is just love them. Different people have different types of lupus so everyone's lupus is different. Just love, help and smile.How does being a lupus supporter changed your outlook on life? How will you be a better person? Being a lupus supporter makes me realize how blessed I am just to breath with ease, it is a true blessing. I can only try to be a better person by loving everyone and trying to enter every situation with a second view of how? & why? How has being a lupus supporter changed your relationship with people? It has helped me to feel more connected with others in need, to led a helping hand to both friends and strangers who want or need it.