Lupus Warrior of the Week

Tenika NiNi Avila

4A’s Sisters Lupus Club in Lafayette Louisiana would like to honor and recognize
Meet Tenika NiNi Avila . She was diagnosed with Lupus on Dec. 19th, 2004 at 16 years old. In the beginning, the symptoms she experience were rash on her ears, lack of energy, popped blood vessels on her fingers & toes, extreme fatigue, swollen joints, & photosensitivity.

All of those symptoms she experience while her family & her were traveling across the country from California to Georgia.

Although, it took the doctors four months to diagnose her Lupus. Lupus helps her grow emotionally, by physically, & spiritually every day.

Each year she learns something new about Lupus on how to control and manage it.

Tenika is very thankful and blessed to have an amazing support group of GOD, family, and friends to help through her challenging days of Lupus.

PS: show your 💕

4A’s Sister Lupus Club Warrior of the Week

4A’s Sisters Lupus Club of Lafayette La. would like to honor this week. She’s Farrah McGhee Rahshandaa Pierson and lives in a small town called McCormick, South Carolina. She’s a single parent to a beautiful 13 year old daughter, Brieannah. She obtained her Bachelors’s degree in Psychology from University of Houston. Currently retired from (VA) Veterans Affairs, as an Administrative Assistant and have over 20 years in the medical field. Her lupus journey began when she was 21 years old, she began having symptoms. After many years of seeing various doctors, Rahshandaa was finally diagnosed in 2017. Upon her diagnosis, she knew she didn’t want to live the rest of her life with this disease. She wanted to find a cure. Because lupus was a disease not known by many people, she became an Advocate and began promoting lupus awareness; by posting on social media and and attending lupus walks. She knew that finding a cure for lupus would have to be in a collective effort, so after seeing an advertisement, for the first lupus Greek lettered sorority, (Lambda Sigma Sigma Lupus Sorority, Inc., founded August 13, 2018, by 20+ year lupus survivor LaCasha Lee of Chicago, IL) she decided to join. Rahshandaa officially became a member of the 2021 Winter Class, along with 10 other women, who have not only dedicated themselves to promoting lupus awareness, advocacy and education, but also a sisterhood! They don’t call themselves Lupus Warriors, we refer to ourselves as Lupus Soldiers, because they are on the battlefield, to find a cure. As a Lupus Soldier, she don’t let lupus stop her. She fights lupus daily and sometimes it knocks her down, but, she gets right back up! She has a daughter to raise and long life to enjoy! And plans to do just that! PS: Let’s show our love ❤️!

Lupus Warrior of the Week

4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation of Lafayette, La would like to honor Bettie Carter this week.

A Lupus survivor for 26 years and advocate for 23 years. Chairperson, Health Coordinator, Event Coordinator, Secretary and PR person for “Living Life” with Lupus Support Group, 501(c)3 organization. Lupus Autoimmune Advocacy 2.0 and Tools for Lupus Autoimmune are on Facebook where she also advocates for Lupus.

A mother of 4 daughters, 10 grand children, 2 great grandson, 1 daughter and 1 aunt with Lupus.

Her story started once she moved from California to Chicago August 1994. Driving a truck with all her kids belongings and pulling her station wagon was no fun. She was very healthy, very active and very fit. The first 3 months she felt like she had the Flu or a bad cold, once her face started swelling and cheeks were red she knew it was something else.

She went to the ER about 10 or 12 times within 5 months with pain and swelling and each time she was given creams and pain meds, which only lasted about 2 or 3 weeks. They never could find out what was wrong.

Bettie was able to be pain free for about 2 months and found a job that lasted 3 weeks. One night she went to use the bathroom and the next thing she woke up in ER. She was out for about 2 or 3 hours and when she woke up it was a nurse checking her blood pressure. Bettie asked her where am I and she said, you passed out and you are in ER. After she finish she asked her can I get a blanket and she said yes. As she was comforting her with the blanket she said: Oh, you will be alright you just have “Lupus”.

Bettie asked her what is that, and she said, you haven’t seen the doctor yet, she said no, she said oh well, he will be in to tell you.

Bettie was blown away because she had never heard of Lupus and was very scared. Let’s make this go straight to the point. She found a great Rheumatologist and he keep her Lupus under control for 3 years then it started affecting her bones.

Bettie had to have surgery every other year for 10 years, 3 total hip replacements, a left shoulder and 4 foot surgeries. Her bones brakes easily so, she have broken 2 or 3 of her toes, oh and she can’t leave out, most all her teeth fell out so she have a full upper and working on the bottom. Now when she found “Living Life” with Lupus Support Group her whole life changed.

They have help her to become the person she is, the speaker she became and the advocate she is. She have been in remission for 11 years and she loves what she do for Lupus.

Her family are huge supporters and her grandkids help her more than her kids. She’s very happy to see the platform they have now because when she was diagnosis she could not find one person who knew what Lupus was and if they did they would say, “Oh my friend died from Lupus”. She’s blessed to still do what God called her to do, make the whole world know about Lupus and hopefully find a cure.

Bettie have participated in many events in the Chicago area and surrounding suburbs by speaking at health fairs, schools, churches, hospitals and fundraisers for Lupus. Her organization has received the Proclamation from the Mayor of Chicago declaring May 10th as Lupus Awareness Day in Chicago for the past 3 years. They are also responsible for lighting one of Chicago tallest building downtown, Blue Cross Blue Shield with the words “END LUPUS”. She traveled to Detroit and Milwaukee to help support other Lupus events and fundraisers for the past 6 years. She participated in several Lupus studies at Northwestern Memorial Hospital under her Rheumatologist in Chicago, Dr. Rosalind Ramsey Goldman. She continues to educate the public about Lupus by being a guest on local TV Talk Shows, The AC Green Show V103, Chicago Inspiration Radio 1390AM with Marcella Jones and Living Life In Midlife Radio in Washington DC with Pia King. She spoke at the IL House of Representatives-
97th General Assembly, Chairperson Willie Davis and went to Washington DC to speak to Congresswoman Robin Kelly about more funding for Lupus research. A volunteer for Lupus walks with The Lupus Foundation of America, Lupus Research Alliance and Lupus Society of IL.


“She Women Empowerment Award for Outstanding Leadership and Contributions for the Lupus community from CEO Sandra Epps, Detroit Mi.

Letters of appreciation:

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority

Eastern Star #151 (past) Worthy Marton Sarah Mayberry

Battlefield for Lupus, Crystal Stotts, Milwaukee, WI

South Shore-Chicago Historical Society

The Gwen Knapp Center for Lupus & Immunology Research

Bettie Carter – Chairperson -PR
Health Coordinator
“Living Life” with Lupus Support Group

PS- show your 💕

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

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

Lupus Warrior of the Week

4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to recognize Maxine Colligan Navarre as our Lupus Warrior of the week.

Maxine was diagnose with Lupus 29 years ago.
Works for Registrar of Voter Office, 32 years
Chief Deputy.
Married 30 years with 2 children and blessed with 2 grandchildren.

She loves Entertaining family, reading, traveling and playing with her grand babies but, most of all spending time with God.

Show some 💘.

Warrior for the week

4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation reconize Lupus Warrior for the week – Meet Alzina Burrell Dural
Lupus since 2011,
Retiree with LCG,
Owner of Season the Green Leaf 🍃
Sits on many Local City and State Boards.
A daughter wife sister mother aunt friend etc.
PS-Community Activist.
Show your 💘!

Lupus Warrior of the Week

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and reared in South Texas, Melissa Hardin is a 44 year old mother of two daughters, poly partnered to two loving men, and focused on living her best life. After suffering for roughly 6 years, she was diagnosed with Lupus in February of 2019. Shortly after, she joined 4 A Sisters Lupus Support Group and began treatment. Melissa is now experiencing longer stretches between flares. She tries to be uplifting and supportive to people she meets no matter what it is they are going through.

Lupus Warrior of the Week

Lupus Warrior this Week

Meet Mr. Shane Bruno 4-A’s Sisters Club Lupus Warrior of the Week.

Shane is a son, brother, husband, father, and a dear friend of many. Shane first join our Support group through his mom and sister making that phone call., telling me he may not attend the meetings or even speak with you but, you can try. And tried I did.

After speaking with Shane he agreed to attend our Monthly Meetings and participated in the events we hosted., even his kids. Keep that beautiful smile my friend.

Prayers being said for you and all the rest of our Lupie friends.

Lupus is a chronic auto-immune disease that involves your immune system. Your immune system is like a bodyguard against invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and other germs.

Normally, your immune system works to fight off these invaders. But in the case of lupus, the immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s healthy tissues.