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
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
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
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.
4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation in Lafayette, La would like to recognize Lynn Broussard as our Lupus Warrior for this week. ❤
Lynn was diagnosed with Lupus SLE, with mix connective tissue disorder in 2016 at the age of 45. Prior to her diagnosed she was living in Texas, working with homeless women and working on her Master’s Degree in Social Work.
When Lynn was first diagnosed, she was determined not to allow Lupus ruin her life.
A month after being diagnosed, Lynn was determined to get her life back but, God had other plans, she was rushed to the hospital with stomach pains and had to have an ER surgery, which sent her in respiratory failure, was in coma for ten days.
This was when she realized that this illness was something that she needed to take more serious.
Lynn guessed she was in her own denial. Unable to care for herself, she had to return home to Louisiana.
Her family and friends have a great support system, she’s currently working full time with Women of Domestic Violence and completing her Master’s of Social Work. It has not been an easy road according to Lynn, she thanks God everyday for waking her up.
Show your 💘 for Lynn.
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 💘
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!
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!
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.