(My Sister Sally)
© Jessica Regan Photography 2010
When my sister was 12 she was diagnosed with Lupus, a systemic autoimmune disease. To explain what Lupus is in simpler terms, it is when the immune system mistakes healthy cells and tissues for unhealthy ones and attacks, causing inflammation and damage. Lupus unfortunately can be fatal (although with modern medicine the number of fatalities is decreasing) and it currently has no cure.
I was 14 at the time of my sister's diagnosis and was very unfamiliar with the condition. I knew it meant a lot of doctor's appointments and overly worried parents. The disease has been tough on her in more than one way. She has had to deal with overprotective parents, life threatening flare ups, and more what ifs than I have ever known, but I am glad to say that today she is doing well and that the disease is almost unnoticeable in her blood stream.
Last month my sister had the opportunity to go the Washington DC with her husband and our mom to attend the Lupus Advocacy Day. My sister has always been an advocate for the disease, but this experience really moved and motivated her. Since her return from DC she has come out publicly about her disease and even began a blog called Lupus Groupus where she discusses the in and outs of lupus and her own personal journey (please check this out and follow her on her journey). She also signed up for a walk to benefit the Lupus Foundation of America called Walk for Lupus Now. Our team is called the Luprechauns.
. Although 15 years ago, at the time my sister was diagnosed, I had never heard of Lupus I am sad to say that now I know several people who suffer from the disease (including close friends and family). As I said previously there is currently no cure for Lupus, but we hope to change that by raising interest in the cause as well as raising money.
Although I typically do not feel comfortable asking for things from other people, I am adamant about this cause. So my call to action would be for you to at least consider a small donation towards our Walk for Lupus Now group. I know we are in hard economic times right now, but even one single dollar will make a difference and show your support. If I was able to raise $1 from every single one of my Facebook friends, I would exceed my current goal for the race. So if you read this and think I can't afford to donate right now, but a dollar is too cheap, think again. It really can make all the difference.
And...if you want to make a larger donation and get something in return. For anyone who is interested in booking a portrait session with me, I am going to be donating all session fees for anyone who purchases a session in the month of April to the Lupus Foundation of America. To further clarify, the session does not have to take place in the month of April, it just has to be booked and paid for at that time. If you would like to participate in this, but can't commit to a booking, I will be donating 50% of all gift certificates purchased in April as well. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Thanks in advance!