My goal is to live "happily ever after." 16 months ago I was blessed with my beautiful son, but after I had my son, my lupus symptoms got worse. I have tried every treatment that there is and am slowly running out of options. I have even tried cancer treatments, as well as the most basic lupus treatments, and still my lupus is very active. I spent most of November and December in the hospital and there was a time I thought I might not be coming home. Having a son is having a reason to live. I am here fighting for him. People who do not know much about lupus do not know what a struggle it can be on a daily basis. I hope that one day, there will be a drug available to everybody who needs it, not just who can afford it. Until then, I am going to keep fighting each year, and each year my team will do what we can to make changes. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. There are many things that I could write about that I have gone through, but it would be a novel. Any and all donations make a difference, and are a step in changing the lives of many people. Thank you!

~ Larie Bermudez, Happily Ever After


The Walk for Lupus Now Delaware is dear to my heart. My Walk team is on behalf of my mother, Lisa. My mom has dealt with this disease in silence for 11 years. When she was diagnosed, we switched places. In a way, I became her mom, and made sure my brother and sister made it to school. She was too weak to even hold a cup, and had a rash all over and was scared to be seen in public. My mom is a sweet, humble woman that always wears a smile. If you didn't know of her struggles, you would not even know her pain. I am so proud of her, I couldn't say it any other way. The past 11 years have been challenging, dealing with the ups and downs that lupus has caused for her. Despite the constant battle, my mother, who has been a single mother my whole life, has demonstrated what a true superwoman is. I heard about the Walk for Lupus Now, and immediately knew we had to be a part of it. I see this as a source of encouragement for my mother, and she sees it as motivation for thers. "Rumbling Lupus for Lisa" is not only our team name, it is our movement!

~ Melanie Valentin, Rumbling Lupus for Lisa


Lupus has a personal face for me. My mom was diagnosed with this horrible disease when I was just 8. It rapidly took the life right out of her I became home-schooled so I could help my mom with simple daily tasks, and spent many hours at the hospital while she received chemotherapy. Only by the grace of God did her disease go into remission! We have not had a flare up since! The courage it took my mother to go through her disease with such positivity has taught me empathy, compassion, and how to really support someone. I think that the best thing I learned from her was that no matter what struggles she endured - the sickness, crippling mobility, loss of hair, weight gain, chemotherapy, etc. - she didn't give it any acknowledgement. She didn't give it power! Instead, she dealt with what came, and never complained about it. If you ask her about it today, her response would be aloof, she would tell you it's no big deal. Just because you go through something, it doesn't have to own you and consumer your life. She taught me to live life and still go on as you should and not to give credit to something negative! I cherish every moment I get with my mom, and I kno whow different my life would be if she wasn't here with me. She is the best mother I could ever dream of. She does everything for everyone, and expects nothing in return. She is one of the strongest people I know. she has been my role model and friend, and without her, I wouldn't be who I am today!

~ Cheryl Johnson, Q Salon Conquerors

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