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

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