How Kindness Impacts the Lives of Those Living with Lupus
Imagine having to deal with a diagnosis that is life-changing. It’s an overwhelming and scary situation to be in and sometimes, the only thing that will make things better is finding support, resources and a little bit of kindness. Finding a hug wouldn’t hurt either. Now, imagine finding all of those things and maybe even a hug in an unlikely place: online.
What started as a blog and social media plan to allow one woman to connect with others dealing with chronic diseases like lupus has grown to become a warm virtual hug for everyone who is diagnosed with lupus and has nowhere else to go. Lupuschick.com is a truly special place that provides emotional guidance, information, resources and even financial support for lupus sufferers.
Using experiences gained through living with the disease, Marisa Zeppieri created lupuschick.com after overcoming a number of challenges. Her personal story involves a horrible accident, having to do a 180 with her career, and discovering the power of kindness and how it can help lupus patients such as herself.
Living with lupus, an autoimmune disorder that causes a variety of symptoms, is challenging especially because many of those symptoms are pretty sneaky, which sometimes makes the diagnosis difficult. Sufferers can complain of extreme fatigue, swollen joints, the appearance of a butterfly rash across the face, sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, headaches, hair loss, and fever. Living with lupus can make day to day tasks difficult and exhausting. Lupus is by no means for the faint of heart as it poses a number of challenges for its patients and their families.
Once a patient is diagnosed with lupus they quickly learn that it will not go away, but it can be treated. Personalized treatment plans tend to be created specifically to minimize some of the side effects and hopefully to prevent lupus flare-ups. Before lupuschick.com, finding treatment options and information about the disease could involve a discouraging online search and hours spent pouring through medical journals. For anyone with the disorder, it would quickly become obvious that there was a need for a one-stop shop for lupus patients to find everything they were looking for.
After sitting on a board for a lupus focused organization and working with others who were also dealing with the disease, Zeppieri saw an opportunity to create a safe place for patients, loved ones and their caregivers to ask questions and access the right resources. This led her to develop lupuschick.com and begin reaching out to people who were suffering like her.