Lupus Warrior of the Week

4-A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation in Lafayette, La. would like to honor Emmitt III Henderson for his encouragement, strength and loyalty to self in telling his story. Who thought Emmitt would be here today to tell his story from what Lupus has brought him through? It started in 1980 with a skin rash and fevers that the doctors could not diagnose the cause. This went on a little over a year, then in 1995, Emmitt suffered severe joint pains from almost all his joints. Going into the hospital 3 different times and since only X-rays were done, nothing was found, and he was sent home. Because of frustration, Emmitt did not go back to seek medical attention in knowing nothing was going to be found. As a Dealership Service Manager, his job was too important to keep leaving and getting No results. After almost a year with the inconsistent joint pains, he started having severe lower back pains and fevers, that finally led to a lab test, and the results from the test hospitalized him for further diagnosis. Emmitt was admitted into the hospital and after test after test, after 3 weeks, a lady comes in and tells him she believes he have a disease that may be rare. He asked, “why rare?” she replied because of your age, your ethnicity, and your gender you may have Systemic Lupus. Since he never heard of it before, Emmitt asked, why is it rare? She said because it is known as a Women’s Disease. Of course, as a man, it was hard to accept that but, he knew he needed to get educated on what the disease was as well. There was a point where he was taking up to 30 pills a day, including steroids, the steroids blew him up 45lbs of water weight, he was looking swollen all the time. Because of the aggression of his Lupus, he was on a strong chemotherapy and radiation treatments and had multiple flares every month. Lupus has affected almost all his organs and system, including having heart failure. At this time, he was put into an induced coma to save his Heart, because of this Emmitt was in a coma for over 3 weeks. Once he awakened, his vitals got better, and he was sent to rehab to be able to walk and talk all over again. After that experience, his Rheumatologist suggested that need to have something done because his heart would not be able to stand another flare from Lupus. She suggested he participate in a clinical trial which was a Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant. After that procedure, my flares had slowed down, and he started to feel better. Although Emmitt felt better, Lupus was not done. From that point, he was on Peritoneal dialysis for over a year, he had a fistula installed, then had a kidney transplant. He was diagnosed with Avascular Necrosis which led to a knee and shoulder replacement, he was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogren’s Syndrome. Emmitt had restricted lung disease and depended on oxygen for about a month. He had ulcers line his throat and esophagus for a long time which required him to feed from a tube for over a week. He had liver disease, his gall bladder removed, and a lesion was found on his brain that till this day, the neurologist does not have a diagnosis for it. He experienced shingles, gout, his finger and toenails all turned black and had a port installed in his arm for blood transfusions. In June 2019, Emmitt decided to advocate for Lupus full time. He created his organization and called it Male Lupus Warriors. He wanted people to know that his advocacy is based on a man’s 25 years with Lupus. Because of his strong mental health status, which got him through the years, Emmitt encourages men to step out of their comfort zone and speak about their experience with living with an autoimmune disease and inspire everyone else. PS: Show your love for Emmitt! 4asisterslupus.com

Lupus Warrior of the Week

4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation in Lafayette, La would like to honor TaKara Johnson on her encouragement, strength and loyalty to self. She was diagnosed in January 2020 with Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus which affects the skin. TaKara had no clue that she was experiencing a severe flare up when she broke out itching with a severe rash all over her body that turned into sores. She ended up in an Urgent Care. She has scars now all over and it also caused her to lose majority of her hair. TaKara was an active Dental Assistant in the Office but, due to the lupus causing her so much pain she went back being a Dental Assistant Instructor so it could be easier on her body. TaKara started a Facebook page “LYLAS Lupus Awareness Group”, so women with lupus can express and share their feelings about whether going through without being judged. She’s also a CPR Instructor to help the community learn how to save lives. Show your 💕! 4asisterslupus.com

Lupus Warrior of the Week

Evelyn Patton

4-A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to honor Evelyn Patton this week. She was diagnosed with LUPUS & RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS in 2013. She has been in a severe crisis’s twice, and hurts daily. She trys to live her life normal but, sometimes it difficulty too but, she doesn’t gives up. She’s thankful for GOD who gives her strength through her prayes and continue to push herself in life. Evelyn goals in life is to keep pushing because she believes GOD has her back. Evelyn has a yearly activity whereas she gives the homeless people CHRISTMAS. She goes yearly on the weekend before Christmas with a dear friend of hers, Loretta Allen to give out Christmas bags to the homeless. In those backpacks they donate: socks, gloves, skull hats, scarves, clothing such as new and used jackets and other clothing items to stay warm with, they receives snacks such as: candy chips, juices, cookies and others packages items, they also give blankets. They share with them about the love of GOD and to join a local church to know more about GOD the FATHER. They encourage the homeless to pray in and out of SEASON, because 🙏ers changes THINGS, and they let them know they care, this is the reason they do what they do. Evelyn loves helping the ELDERLY in her Church and neighborhood. She’s always giving or doing something for them. She loves helping PEOPLE, because it’s what JESUS who says, “whatever you do unto the least of THEE you’re sisters and brothers, you do it unto Me”. MATTHEW 25:40. This is the first YEAR, she missed helping the HOMELESS and it was due to COVIT-19,🦠 VIRUS, and of LUPUS. Evelyn, 🙏ing this year it will be a safer year to help the HOMELESS to be happy on CHRISTMAS DAY, like everybody else. Her MOTHER HAD RA and LUPUS, OUT OF eight GIRLS and 4 BOYS; she’s the only one with LUPUS. She thanks GOD daily, because she’s a BELIEVER that with JESUS all things is possible through him. That’s the reason she do what she do, and it is to let people know she cares. PS: Show your 💕

Lupus Warrior of the Week

Danielle Archie

4-A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to honor Danielle Archie as our weekly Lupus Warrior.

She began having problems with her legs and feet in 2011. It started with swelling in both legs which was very uncomfortable. It caused her to walk with a slight limp.

The next morning she woke up with feet so swollen that she could barely wear slippers. Not only were her legs and feet swollen, but they were tingly. She couldn’t get comfortable, it was hard to sleep, drive, stand and even sit.

Danielle’s primary doctor ran several tests and couldn’t figure out the problem so he referred her to a Neurologist. The Neurologist ran an astronomical amount of tests. She remember a blood draw where at least ten vials were drawn.

She had to sleep with some sort of monitor for a few nights. She was sent for a test where small needles were placed all over my legs and feet.

Danielle was so tired of being poked and was giving up hope. The Neurologist called her into the office and gently told her that she has neuropathy. She didn’t understand what that meant and he really tried to explain it but, the simplest thing he said was “you’re in a grey area and I can prescribe medicine to ease the pain and discomfort”. He also stated that her blood work showed some abnormalities and referred her to a Hematologist. This was one of the scariest appointments for her because the sign on the door or at least all she saw was “Oncologist”!

She stood there staring for at least five minutes before entering. She was greeted by a Receptionist that offered a gentle smile and explanation. When she met with the Doctor, she informed Danielle that her blood work showed that she has lupus but, she wanted to run more tests because doctors that are not Hematologists generally don’t know what to look for. So off to the lab she went. She was so tired of giving blood, her arms were bruised and sore.

The Phlebotomist was nice…it was like talking to your Aunt. She saw the bruising and promised to be very gentle. The tests came back positive for Lupus Anticoagulant. She was confused and didn’t truly understand what it meant. It was simply explained that her body produces blood clots and depending where the clot is, it will be very dangerous. A few weeks later, her legs was hurting really bad, she couldn’t bend it at all. She found herself back at my Doctors office, from there he sent her for a scan. Ten minutes after leaving that appointment, she received a call stating she had a clot and needed to go directly to her Hematologist. She had to do more blood work and also learn how to administer abdominal shots to herself.

She actually passed out from all of the blood work. She woke up next to patients receiving Chemotherapy. One of the elderly ladies came and sat next to her after her therapy was complete.

She comforted her and told her that her illness may not be like someone else but, that doesn’t make it any less important.

Danielle has to get tested for clots twice a year and conduct self tests. She takes a cocktail of prescriptions to ease the pain and discomfort that she experience.

She continue to pray for her health and thanks God that she’s still alive and able to see 50 in a few months.