Extreme fatigue, facial rashes, and swollen, painful joints are some of the symptoms of lupus. So, what about loneliness? Can loneliness be a symptom of this disease? Kelly Kelly says that’s something that she and other patients diagnosed with lupus often experience. Even with the support and love of family and friends, she explains that no one really knows what it’s like, unless they have the same diagnosis.
No, loneliness is not quite a symptom of lupus but is definitely a burden on a patient’s emotional state, resulting in a feeling of isolation. Kelly herself hasn’t had an easy battle with the disease and once overcame a difficult prognosis. However, since her recovery she remains positive and keeps an optimistic attitude. She’s become a beacon of strength.
“I feel like it was a blessing [lupus], it was a reason,” Kelly Kelly said. “I’m strong enough and I can help other people.” And, that’s what she’s doing as the president of the Kelly Fund for Lupus, an organization her mother founded in 2008 to help find a cure for the disease.
“The Kelly Fund’s greatest tool is that we provide a one-on-one connection,” she said. “The primary goal is to educate, serve, and support. Education is key.” The Kelly Fund partners with institutions like Fairleigh Dickenson University and Abundant Life Church to raise awareness about lupus.
By the way, Kelly’s mother is Brenda Blackmon, a multi-Emmy award winning journalist who has put her celebrity and resources toward finding a cure for those affected by lupus. In 2010, she testified in front of an FDA panel about why a new drug needed to be approved in front of patients, doctors, and families in Washington. She is also the author of “A Mom’s Story”, a book that describes her emotional journey while awaiting Kelly’s recovery from a terrible bout with the disease.
As someone affected by lupus, Kelly knows that it can be so freeing to have a friend available to talk to about the emotional toll this disease takes upon individuals suffering from symptoms.
“They just want people to talk to,” she said. “Learn how to deal with it, don’t let it control you.” Kelly is not letting lupus get her down, she’s living her life and want others with the disease to focus on living a better quality of life.
In case you didn’t know, May is Lupus Awareness Month. This past Sunday, thousands of New Jersey residents gathered to walk at MetLife Stadium to show their solidarity in finding a cure for this disease. The Kelly Fund is there every year and Brenda is often the mistress of ceremonies for the festivities.
If you are interested in learning about lupus resources and The Kelly Fund for Lupus, check them out at http://www.thekellyfundforlupus.org. If you are also interested in purchasing the book, “A Mom’s Story” by Brenda Blackmon you can purchase it at the organization’s website. All proceeds go to lupus research.