Lupus patient/awareness advocate receives special gift from fiancé.

May 24, 2016

13281896_845759465567874_1560884712_nFive years ago Meghan McKenzie was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a year after she moved to Ludington to be with her fiancé, Brandon Cory.

SLE is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.

The underlying cause of autoimmune diseases is not fully known and occurrences are more common in women than men. 

“Every year I try to do something big for lupus awareness month in May. This year I was too tired. In the last year I was hospitalized numerous times for up to two weeks because of lupus. I also had kidney failure and did infusion chemotherapy (a common way to treat severe lupus) and I just haven’t had the energy.”

Meghan said she was disappointed especially on May 20 because it was the “Put on Purple” day to raise awareness about lupus.

“I hadn’t thought anything of it. Just last Thursday had an appointment to discuss dialysis.”

She was getting ready to go to work and checked Facebook on her phone. There was a message from Brandon with a picture of he and his co-workers at Haworth, including his mother, wearing purple with the caption: “Lots of people turned out to show support for you! I love you more than you know.”

“I had been crying on my drive to work that day,” she said. “ All the talk of dialysis and everything at the doctor’s the evening before I had just had a rough night. Getting that picture made me feel so good. He’s always so supportive and does anything he can to make me smile.”

Lupus may occur at any age, but appears most often in people between the ages of 10 and 50. African Americans and Asians are affected more often than people from other races.Symptoms may include: Chest pain when taking a deep breath, fatigue, fever with no other cause, general discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise), hair loss, mouth sores, sensitivity to sunlight, skin rash (a “butterfly” rash in about half people with SLE. The rash is most often seen over the cheeks and bridge of the nose, but can be widespread. It gets worse in sunlight), swollen lymph nodes.

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