I've registered to run my first (and likely my last) full Marathon, Nov 7th in NYC, to benefit Lupus!
Lupus is a lifelong, chronic autoimmune disease that effects over 1.5 Million Americans and 1 amazing Jessica Goldman. If you ask anyone who's met Jess to describe her, they will undoubtedly comment on her ever-present smile and positive energy. What many of them don't know is that she battles Lupus, and its side effects, every day.
Jess was diagnosed with Lupus 7 years ago when it attacked her brain and kidneys. Since then I have watched Jess go through chemo, dialysis and countless other treatments. Though at times she may have lost physical strength, her hair, and her mind (not really, but you know what I mean), she NEVER lost her positive attitude and her effervescent smile. She is the only person I know who can send a photo of themselves in a hospital gown, attached to an IV with the biggest grin on her face....Her spirit has inspired everyone she's touched-- sick or healthy. She now lives a full (and totally rad) life in SF: freelance writing, blogging, dancing, cooking and otherwise making (everyone she sees) merry.
Ok, I'm rambling (an you're probably crying)...so now its time to ask you to grab a tissue and your credit card, and help Jess and I raise some money for Lupus.
We are doing this Obama style: We're asking for only $10 dollars from everyone we know. So give us ten bucks and pass this along to spread the word about Lupus! Think we can do it? JESS WE CAN!!!!
Q: Lupus Poopus-- What is Lupus? I've never heard of it!
A: Lupus is more common than you think! It's an autoimmune disease that can attack many organs in the body. It's severity and side effects vary, but unfortunately it's a lifelong illness that over 1.5 americans struggle with. There is lots to learn and many ways to help. Check them out here.
Q: Does lupus develop disproportionately in legendary performers?
A: Though Lady Gaga, Jessica Goldman and Michael Jackson all suffered from/will suffer from Lupus, there is no evidence that this has anything to do with their fabulous voices, killer dance moves or celebrity status.
Q: Dude, that Jess chick looks super healthy? Are you lying to us about this Lupus thing?
A: Well, according to Jess, the one positive about Lupus is that it is mostly internal and "easy to hide." There are a few telltale signs however, used for diagnosis which include: 1) the butterfly rash (a rosy coloration on the cheeks, chin, and nose that looks like...well, you guessed it, a butterfly), 2) swelling in arms, feet, and face, usually as a result of Lupus-related kidney disease, and 3) hair loss.
Q: Are you really going to run 26.2 Miles? Do I get a refund if you don't finish? A: Yes, training has begun and I am determined to run the NYC marathon this November 7th with a Jessica Goldman smile on my face! And no, no refunds will be granted until Jess regains all function in her kidneys.
Q: You say this disease is chronic. How does Lupus effect someone's life on a daily basis?
A: Everyday with Lupus is different. It can flare and calm down erratically, often provoked by stress and illness. Some days people with Lupus can feel great and active, and within the next few hours, they'll be on their backs as if they just finished a forty day bender. The symptoms of Lupus can include simpler, daily manifestations - like chronic exhaustion, joint pain, chest pain, migraines - or more severe conditions - like major organ failure and immune suppression. Lupus patients also take daily medication (Jess pops about 20 pills every morning) and must see doctors regularly, on a rather irregular schedule.
Q: This Jess chick sounds awesome-- is she single? Is she looking for friends?
A: She is beyond awesome. She is rocked up to quite a guy (sorry), but she is the friendliest gal around.
Q: Ten bucks is a lot, do I get a physical/edible prize?
A: Yes, if you made it this far in the email, and the following conditions apply, you will receive a prize in the mail. It might be a loaf of love, or maybe a love muffin, or some dried fruit. I havent decided yet.
Conditions: 1) you have donated $10 dollars
2) you have convinced at least 2 other people not on this email list to donate 10 dollars (proof required)