Lupus Warrior of the Week

4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to recognize Shavawna Michelle as our Lupus Warrior this week.

She’s 36 years old from Broussard, La. Shavawna was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis in 2007 at the age of 23. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) to be exact.

There are many kidney diseases but, for her it was Lupus Nephritis, inflammation of the Kidneys.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own body tissues.

Before being diagnosed Shavawna was working, attending school and playing softball. Just living and enjoying her life.

After finding out she was in denial for a long time and it really started to hit her years later in 2009 where she had to have a hip replacement in both hips.

For those first 3 years she tried to work and go to school but, eventually had to stop.

Her life had changed and she didn’t want to accept it. She was over it. It’s like her Doctors words were going in one ear and out the other.
However, she knew exactly what to do and he started it immediately. She was prescribed different medications, did several months of chemotherapy and also started seeing a psychiatrist.

At that time she was also prescribed meds for anxiety/depression and also meds to help her sleep. Pain meds and so on.

Shavawna was so miserable but, prayed, she also had an amazing support system that was there every step of the way.

Within the next few years she was finally in remission and things started to look up. She felt good enough to where she started working again.

Shavawna had good and bad days but, hung in there. In 2015 she had to have her left knee replaced.
She was shocked!
She just knew it was over but, she was wrong.

In 2019 she enrolled back in school part time and is currently working full time doing what she loves. Things get hard and she may feel discouraged at times but, God has never failed her yet.

Shavawna family and friends are amazing. She has no idea where she would be without an amazing support system. They may not have a cure for Lupus yet but, she knows she has to stay positive and do what needs to be done to stay healthy, feel good and just take care of herself.

She’s working full time, back in school and taking it one day at a time. Overall She’s blessed and so thankful.

Shavawna came a long way but, God is not finished with her yet.

Show your 💘

Lupus Warrior of the Week

GM
GM 🌎!
The 4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to recognize JoJo Berthiaume as our this week Lupus Warrior. Please show your love.

Johanna Berthiaume is 34 years old. She was diagnosed with lupus at 23 years of age.  Lives in Palmer Massachusetts with husband Mike and thrir small dog Blackie who are both vital parts in her lupus journey and recovery.

Before her diagnosis she first started experiencing pain in her joints which the doctors said, they thought it was premature arthritis at her young age at the time but, weeks later the pain got unbearable to the point that JoJo couldn’t go to work.

Weeks later her hands and feet started swelling really bad, had the butterfly rash on her face for the first time. She was then referred to a rheumatologist who after doing blood work was able to confirm JoJo has SLE. She remembered her first bad lupus flare months later where she was in 10 out of 10 pain and couldn’t walk or open or close her hands from so much inflammation in her joints. It took her going 3 times to the emergency room before they realized that her pain was real and that just like many other lupus patients they don’t just want pain medication for the unbearable pain, they want to feel better and a cure. By the 3rd time going to the Emergency Room within that week, that was when they ran specific blood tests and realized it was a lupus flare and then admitted her for almost two weeks because the lupus levels were so bad by then.

Some of her illnesses caused by lupus like fibromyalgia, arthritis, nephritis, avascular necrosis on both hips from so many years on prednisone, history of seizure disorder, high blood pressure, raynaud’s syndrome, proteinuria, irregular heartbeat, just to name a few of the close to 30 illnesses JoJo now have due to lupus attacking different organs.

Lupus has attacked her bones, muscles, heart, kidneys, blood, brain and has even attacked one of her past pregnancies causing her to miscarry and almost her life.

She has ended up with almost 30 different illnesses all caused by lupus attacking different organs.

JoJo had to go through 3 different years of chemotherapy for stage 4 lupus nephritis to try and save her kidneys. Yet no matter all she have endured, she has always kept her faith and smile (even in the midst of tears), most people would describe her as being one of the most optimistic person they know.

She truly believe that her mindset is half the battle. She refuse to allow this “silent killer” to destroy her.

She speaks life into every situation and over her body. Today and every day she like to encourage you to do the same.

She’s blessed to have an amazing support community of family, friends and Lupie Sisters and Brothers that are always at the corner cheering her on in good and not so good days. You got this because God’s got me and you. 💜

Lupus Warrior of the Week

Antoinette Y. Thames
Lives in Little Rock, Arkansas where she was born and raised.
She received her diagnosis of SLE Lupus 16 years ago.
At the age of nine 1979, Antoinette began to experience chronic hives from head to toe. She was also experiencing swelling in her feet, hand, throat and often my eyes and lips. For many years I received a diagnosis of chronic urticaria (hives) and angioedema.Anti-histamines and steroids was the choice of treatment her doctor chose.
Each year she noticed that she was being challenged with additional symptoms. Lower back pain, low grade fevers, fatigue, joint pain and headaches all appeared aggressively. She felt that she had not been properly diagnosed.
Antoinette asked many questions but, doctors at that time had no answers.
In November of 1999, she began to experience uncontrollable pain throughout her entire body. She was taken to hospitals ER was given pain medication that did nothing to reduce any of my pain. Later that day she returned to the hospital and was admitted.
Upon doing a MRI the doctors discovered that both of her hips had completely deteriorated. The steroids that she was taking for chronic hives and angioedema had caused avascular necrosis and needed to have her hips replaced to alleviate the pain.
November of 1999, she was twenty- nine years old when had her first two hip surgeries. Bilateral core drilling’s on her hips was the chosen surgery by her doctor in hopes to relieve the pressure that was causing all of the pain. The surgeries were unsuccessful.
In January of 2000, Antoinette received her third hip surgery and March of 2000, she received a fourth.
In October of 2004, after her second trip to the ER in a week, she was hospitalized with a fever of an unknown origin, severe joint pain, fatigue and hives. She remained in the hospital for two weeks and many tests were done. Along with the symptoms in earlier years, current symptoms and test results she received a diagnosis of lupus and received a rheumatologist.
Finally she had some answers!
In June of 2010, Antoinette retired from her teaching position of sixteen years after experiencing additional hip problems and the side effects of medications she was being treated with to manage lupus.
In November of 2014, she developed metal poisoning in her left hip from the metal on metal hip replacement that she had received earlier.
God has taught her to walk five times in her life and she’s very thankful and grateful.
Antoinette had been Living with a diagnosis of SLE Lupus for sixteen years, by doing what brings her joy, and Thriving by becoming the best version of her that she’s able to become.
She’s A Fighter, A Warrior, A Champion and God Is Her Victory!
August 3, 2019
The Lupus Champions Group was created with the intent to encourage, inspire, bring awareness, support and connect others living and thriving with this disease .
Lupus Champions Always Striving To Provide Hope, Help and a Form Of Healing ❤️

Lupus Warrior of the Week

Yarcheka Burns

GM 🌎
4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to recognize
Yarcheka Burns as this week Lupus Warrior.

Yarcheka lives in Nashville, TN with her husband of 10 years and their 9 year old son.

She was diagnosed misdiagnosed with Lupoid Sclerosis in 2005 and was treated for both Lupus and MS for three years. After extensive testing and seeing several physicians it was discovered she had Lupus SLE and like so many later Fibromyalgia, Raynaund’s Syndrome, Connective Tissue Disease and Gastrointestinal Disease were added to the list.

Also struggled with hyperparathyroidism. The combination of these diseases often sends her body spiraling. Several body parts including her eyes have been impacted. Once went through a flare due to inflammation in her brain that left unable to walk for six weeks.

No one can face this type of pain and always be happy.

She encourages others to remember it’s okay to not be okay just don’t stay there! In those dark moments get you a song, book, slogan and of course much prayer to pull you through.

Yarcheka believes adding a friend to your village that has an autoimmune disorder is essential.

That allows you to speak to someone that walks a similar journey and understands your struggle. Finding a local support group has also helped her with having an outlet. She still work full-time which is not easy but, it does force her to refocus her energy.

So grateful for her support system. Yarcheka can’t give up there’s still more life to live!

Lupus Warrior of the Week

GM 🌎!
4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to recognize Prejean Carlisa as this week Lupus Warrior please show some 💘

She was diagnose about 2 1/2 years ago not knowing what it was, she has lost so much weight at times couldn’t get out of bed, in so much pain.

Many days she wanted to give up. But, she continue to pray and push.

When Carlisa started seeing her skin color change it was worst for her. It was
Mostly in her face.

Known as the butter fly rash which meant know heat. Couldn’t be in the sun. At one time It got so depressing for her but, she knew she had to continue to push. She’s a mother of four girls and one boy, and eight grandkids.

The pain she knows will never go away. But, my Faith is stronger now more than anything. The struggle is real.
Blessings baby girl!

Lupus Warrior for this Week!

The 4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to recognize Kathy Malvo as this week Lupus Warrior.

Kathy G. Malvo is the daughter of the late Irvin and Judy Girouard of Youngsville La,. She’s married to John Malvo, with two daughters De Andre and Gera Girouard.

In 2013 she was diagnos with Lupus, formly she was a Nursing Assistant.

For about 18 yrs, before she became diagnois with lupus, it was a hard battle to fight, but with the relationship with Christ, kept her going, she stayed encouraged with the love and the support of her family. The battle with Lupus cause her faith in trust in Jesus, she no longer fear what the future holds for her life.

Kathy thanks God for all the love and support of family and friends, “Lupus strong” Never Give up!!
W/ Gail Lee Martha Weatherford & Andrus A Sapphire

Show your 💘 for Kathy.

Lupus Warrior of the Week

Lupus Warrior for this Week.
 Gina Leblanc

The 4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation of Lafayette, La would like to honor Gina Leblanc of Cecilia, La as our Lupus Warrior for this week.

She has Discoid Lupus and SLE Lupus. Gina was diagnosed in 2016.

Her favorite hobbies now, is going to the library Reading/Researching all kinds different diseases and the world around us.

Taking care of her parents, going to the park or near water, just to relax from a very busy week or appointments. Lots of appointments.

Gina has two beautiful daughters Kayo Leblanc and Aliko LeBlanc who’s now both attending College

Gina, is a highly recommended advocate for Lupus.

Lupus Warrior of the Week!

LaRhonda Yokum-Guidry
LaRhonda Yokum-Guidry

GM: The 4-A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation recognize LaRhonda Yokum-Guidry as this week Lupus Warrior.

La Rhonda was diagnosed with Lupus in 2018.
She’s the mother of a 15 year old son name Curtis Dwayne Yokum-Guidry and is married to Curtis Guidry for 18 years.

She retired from Acadia Parish School Board on October 6, 2020 after 22 years in Education.

As a small Business Owner she’s currently her own boss at LA Travels Travel Agency.

Show your Love.

Lupus Warrior of the week

Jude Pitts

4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to honor Jude Pitts as this week Lupus Warrior.

Cancer, Sarcoidosis, Lupus(SLE), MULTIPLE autoimmune diseases. But he keeps fighting.

Never give up when the end of the tunnel seems so far away always remember there is a light at the end.

Its not how many hurdles thats in front of you its what it takes to climb over them. 💪💪💪💪

Show your Love.

Lupus Warrior of the WEEK

4A’S Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to recognize Anna Mae Tauriac Lawrence of Lafayette as this week Lupus Warrior.

Mrs. Anna is 88 years old who’s been married for 69 years to Mr. Joe who is 91 years old.

Anna suffers with Lupus over 20 plus years. She went into remission for about 10 years then it came back in early 90’s -suffering till today.

Show your 💘 for Mrs. Anna mother of the Famous and Coolest guy
Greg Lawrence