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5 Questions with Lupus Warriors

Lupus Awareness Month is observed in October each year. In honour of the 2022 commemoration-themed “Lupus Level up Make Lupus Visible”, we sat down with three members of the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica (LFJ) to ask five questions about their journeys as Lupus Warriors. This is what they had to say:

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  1. When were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed with Lupus in the year 2007.

  1. What has been the hardest part of your journey?

The hardest part of my journey is my liver being affected, it causes me to feel a lot of pain, especially since I am also diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am in pain daily, so I depend on medication.

  1. What is the best part of your story?

The best part of my story is that I am a mother! I got pregnant when I was in remission. After I delivered the baby I got back ill and had go back on the medication, but the best part is I now have a child.

  1. How has the NHF positively influenced your story as a Lupus Warrior?

I can get the medication almost for free. It was great when the NHF started covering medication for Lupus.

  1. What encouragement do you have for someone struggling with his or her diagnosis?

My encouragement is to know about your illness, educate yourself and trust in the Lord.

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  1. When were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed around the year 2009.

  1. What has been the hardest part of your journey?

Lupus, as you know, attacks the immune system and organs in the body. Unfortunately, it has affected my kidney. Both of them are not working now so I have to be on dialysis. I think kidney failure is the hardest part.

  1. What is the best part of your story?

The best part is definitely that I am still alive. Initially, I was very depressed knowing I have Lupus. Based on my little knowledge of it I thought only females have this condition. After my diagnosis, I started to educate myself, and the more I learned the better I was able to cope with my condition.

  1. How has the NHF positively influenced your story as a Lupus Warrior?

On a daily basis, the expenditure is enormous. There are regular life responsibilities, plus medical expenditures so to know that there is an entity that can reduce the cost of medication is a really big help.

  1. What encouragement do you have for someone struggling with his or her diagnosis?

Get knowledgeable, educate yourself, get support, and know that you are not in it alone. Talk to people who are going through a similar situation, their experience can enlighten yours. It’s not the end just live positive and think positive.

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  1. When were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed with Lupus in the year July 2017.

2.     What has been the hardest part of your journey?

The hardest part of my journey is not knowing when I will have a flare and the effect it will have on my body.

3.     What is the best part of your story?

My case is not as bad and my flares are not as bad as I realize other individuals experience. I’m grateful for that.

4.     How has the NHF positively influenced your story as a Lupus Warrior?

I have an NHFCard and I am a happy, happy, happy beneficiary. I really appreciate the NHF and the benefits it offers to Lupus patients.

5.     What encouragement do you have for someone struggling with his or her diagnosis?

Continue to be strong, and ensure that family and friends are aware of whatever you are going through because you will need that help. There are some times when you just have to lie down and rest, give yourself that.

NHF has joined the initiative in bringing more visibility to this life-altering disease in our support of the LFJ and through the Individual Benefits Programme that assists Jamaicans with the cost of medication, with Lupus being the latest condition added to the illnesses covered, and through our Drug Serv Public Pharmacies.

If you or a loved one is living with Lupus, sign up for the NHFCard to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. The NHF is here for you. For more information, visit our website on how to apply for the NHFCard and become a beneficiary today.

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