Tiffany Hill listened to her body.
“I knew something was wrong, but it was hard to diagnose.” said Hill, who was diagnosed with lupus in 2018. May 10 is World Lupus Day, and The Walk to End Lupus Now will be at 9 a.m. May 20 at Glenn Hills High School. “There are so many symptoms that overlap, and it takes so long to get an appointment.”
For Hill, a Richmond County schoolteacher, it was fatigue, unexplained leg pain and other symptoms that caused her to tune in and listen to what her body was saying.
The Lupus Foundation of American estimates about 1.5 million Americans and about 5 million people worldwide have lupus. About 90% of them are women between the ages of 15 and 44, but children and men can also develop the disease.
Also it’s more prevalent among African American, Hispanic/Latina, Asian American, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander women.
Symptoms include “pain, extreme fatigue, hair loss, cognitive issues, and physical impairments that affect every facet of their lives. Many suffer from cardiovascular disease, strokes, disfiguring rashes, and painful joints. For others, there may be no visible symptoms,” according to the Lupus Foundation of America’s website.
But because its symptoms mimic those of other illnesses, it can take years for lupus to be diagnosed. The foundation said it often takes an average of six years from the onset of symptoms for someone to be diagnosed with the illness.
The walk will raise money for research.
Last year, Hill’s Butterfly Brigade was the second top fundraiser for the walk. Her goal is to raise $1,000 this year. As of May 10, she’s more than halfway there.
Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at email@example.com. Sign up for the newsletter here.
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