Please Help Vanessa Fight Lupus
$565 raised
56% of $1k goal
14 contributors
4 Years running
My sister, Vanessa, was diagnosed with Lupus in 2004, and has struggled with it ever since. In the last year it has gotten worse. We need all the support we can to help since she is currently uninsured and while we wait for a cure.

I thought saying ...
My sister, Vanessa, was diagnosed with Lupus in 2004, and has struggled with it ever since. In the last year it has gotten worse. We need all the support we can to help since she is currently uninsured and while we wait for a cure.

I thought saying good bye to my sister, my best friend, as she enlisted in the military and went off to boot camp would be the hardest thing I’d ever have to do. The military has always been her dream, not mine. I knew once she signed up there was no turning back, so I gave her a hug, said “I love you” and told her I would write to her every day. Weeks of boot camp felt like years had gone by without seeing my sister, but finally we were preparing our trip to her graduation ceremony. Two days before leaving my mother and I awake to a life changing phone call from a doctor at the Eisenhower Medical Center, notifying us of the urgency to get down to Georgia as Vanessa was in ICU. Our financial situation at the time left us with no choice but to drive, from RI to Georgia, a 19 hour anxious ride. We finally arrive only to see a girl, who I no longer recognized as my sister. She was frail, weak, swollen, and lifeless with tubes and IV‘s coming out of her body from every angle. The doctors told us she was in kidney failure and had developed a blood clot in her heart that she would most likely have 48-72 hours of life left. After months of not having seen Vanessa, we were preparing for a reunion and celebration, but instead we were left crying saying good bye. It didn’t make sense.

The nurses had extended their condolences, the priest had come in and said prayers, and through some miracle she pulled through it. For months she laid in a hospital bed in pain. We were told diagnosis, after diagnosis… cancer, diabetes, kidney failure, gastritis, hypoglycemia… and the list goes on. We watched her undergo surgeries, and chemotherapy. She cried as her hair fell out. One characteristic that stands out was the rash on her cheeks, which extended from one side to another making a butterfly appearance. After 3 months, her body slowly grew stronger, and the doctors finally had an answer for us: Lupus.
What is Lupus? They told us “a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs.“ How it was caused? They had no answer. Is there a cure? "No"

Life from that point on has never been the same. Today she is living with: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid Lupus, Lupus Nephrititis, Sinus Tachycardia, Myocarditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue, Raynaud's Phenomenon, Onset Glaucoma, Pleuritis, Edema, Ulcers, Hair Loss, Gastritis, and Hypoglycemia. The list is continuing to grow as the disease progresses with age.

Anyone that knows Vanessa knows that she is funny, silly, caring, strong, smart, and determined. She has the ability to make people laugh. Most people don’t see her at times of weakness, because that’s not how she wants to be viewed. She stays positive and continues to fight Lupus.

Most people think that just because she may not “look” sick she must be fine, but she is not. I know that she does not want people to think “there is always something wrong with her”. The truth is they are right. There is always something wrong with her, but she has learned to live with it. I cannot begin to understand her pain on a day to day basis. At times I wish it were me who were diagnosed and not her.

This disease almost took her life once, and we fight every day to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Please help us raise money to help Vanessa fight Lupus. She currently does not have insurance and has been fighting medical expenses. I want money to be the least of her worries so she can stay strong and positive!
Thank you for your support, any help makes a huge differences

Dear Vanessa,
I love you with all my heart and soul. I Promise I will continue to fight for you as long as I live.
Love always,
Sheri
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