Nicole’s Story- Mysterious Disease Attacks Black Women
It started with being sensitive to the sun as a preschooler and undergoing testing for Sickle Cell disease. In my last year of high school I had unexplained hives. What was causing my symptoms?
I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, colleague, and someone living with lupus for the past thirteen years. It started with being sensitive to the sun as a preschooler and undergoing testing for Sickle Cell disease. In my last year of high school I had unexplained hives. As a young adult in graduate school, I began to experience joint pain and discomfort while breathing. After being referred to a rheumatologist by my family doctor and undergoing tests in August 2001, there was a name to what I have been experiencing, the name is Systemic Lupus. My relief turned to fear when Lupus decided to attack different parts of my body. Since my diagnosis, I have undergone hip surgery, received treatment for Systemic lupus nephritis, pancreatitis, meningitis, depression, along with having multiple hospitalizations. Despite the challenges I have experienced since being diagnosed with Lupus there are also accomplishments. I have earned my Master’s Degree in Social Work, currently serving on the Board for the Lupus Foundation - Iowa Chapter, raised funds for lupus research, and maintained employment. The biggest accomplishment that I take pride in is being a mother. My name is Nicole Stokes and this is part of my story, because my story is still being written.
African American women are 3x as likely than Caucasian women to be affected by lupus. The Lupus Foundation of America, Iowa Chapter is part of a national force devoted to solving the cruel mystery of lupus while providing caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact.
With the help of informed volunteers, lupus medical experts, and committed and caring supporters, we:
- support research and conduct education programs so everyone affected by lupus can have an improved quality of life;
- provide information to ensure people with lupus and their families get answers and health professionals know about new means to diagnose and manage the disease; and,
- conduct activities to increase awareness of lupus, rally public support for those who are affected by lupus, and advocate on their behalf.
Help Us Solve The Cruel Mystery!
If you join the fight, we will not have to concede victory to this terrible disease. With your support and involvement, we will be able to solve the cruel mystery of lupus in our lifetime and end its devastating impact on millions of lives.
Find out more about resources and support from The Lupus Foundation of America, Iowa Chapter.