Celebrity Health

Fox Searchlight’s Nancy Utley Expresses Her Optimism at Lupus L.A.'s Orange Ball

Fox Searchlight’s Nancy Utley Expresses Her Optimism at Lupus L.A.'s Orange Ball

During the Lupus L.A’s annual Orange Ball at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Fox Searchlight co-president Nancy Utley recounted her experience with lupus and shared her optimism with celebrities who live with the same illness.

Utley was among the honorees of the Ball who spoke about her experience while diagnosed with lupus. The chief of the film company that brought like The Shape of Water and The Grand Budapest Hotel

In her speech, Utley told the experiences of two women she had encountered during various mentoring programs. One was Carla Hernandez, who is now well on her way to become the first person in her family to graduate from college. Utley met Hernandez as a high school junior who was dealing with almost every recorded symptom of lupus.

Utley was also inspired by the story of Dora Palmer, who occasionally had to be in a wheelchair because of her symptoms. Palmer, according to Utley, is now on the way to graduate magna cum laude from Barnard University.

Her encounters with other lupus patients made Utley feel proud of her work at Lupus L.A, an organization she helped found in 2000. She said the organization is trying its absolute best to make sure that every lupus story has a happy ending.

She said she was most inspired by the stories of Carla and Dora and that their painful experience resonated with her. Utley said that despite the challenges and certain disabilities that lupus gave them, Carla and Dora remained highly functional and already have achieved so many accomplishments.

Besides mentoring programs, Lupus L.A. funds medical research and provides support and education to thousands of lupus patients.

Describing her own condition, Utley said optimism was hard to come by. She said it took her some time to accept her condition and be optimistic. After receiving this important honor from actress Laura Dern, Utley told the audience her fears, but also expressed feelings on the future of lupus and Lupus L.A.

She said she was only lucky to have first-class  health insurance, which kept the disease from becoming a financial burden, a job that gave her enough flexibility to go to the doctor’s, and a strong support system of family and friends.

Lupus L.A. Chairman Adam Selkowitz said Utley is a true inspiration to lupus community members. According to him, she is one of the most dedicated and committed board members.

Read on to learn more about the tremendous work done by Lupus LA, and other celebrities who were involved with this event.

Photo source: Beverly Hills Courier