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. đź’ś