Photo: Roxanne and Briana DeJesus. Source: In Touch Weekly.
On Dec. 8th, Roxanne DeJesus, the mother of Briana who starred in the American TV series “Teen Mom 2,” revealed on Twitter that she has been diagnosed with lupus after undergoing several blood tests, along with sharing the photos of her blood samples that she took at her doctor's office. Her post was also retweeted by her daughter, and despite having lupus, Roxanne mentioned that she is very thankful that she's feeling much better than she did before her diagnosis.
The fans of the TV series would probably recognize Roxanne as she has also appeared on the show several times. The public also knows that she has a good relationship with her both of her daughters, Brittany and Briana, who also live in the same house as her. Roxanne, who has been known to consistently have her daughter's back, has also confronted the father of Briana's 2nd baby, Luis Hernandez, after finding out that he cheated on her daughter.
On the show, Roxanne always was a supportive mother, and the show highlighted this as both of her daughters were pregnant at the same time. While Brittany decided to go for an abortion, Briana decided to continue her pregnancy. She didn’t blame Brittany for her decision as she knows how difficult it is to be a single mother. But, on the other hand, she also supported Briana by paying for the necessities as her daughter was just a teenager at the time. Now that she has been diagnosed with lupus, it is now the time for her daughters to serve as her support systeme for whatever she will face in the future as she joins the millions of others fighting lupus.
Briana talks about her mother’s diagnosis
Although Roxanne has just been diagnosed recently, it was said that she has been battling her condition for years already. It was in September when Briana worked with the Lupus Foundation of America and Posh Kids to hold a #WALKFORACAUSE fashion show. The Lupus Foundation of America is a foundation that is dedicated to providing support to people who have been diagnosed with lupus through education and research programs.
They aim to reduce the diagnosis time of the said disease and ensure that lupus-diagnosed individuals would receive effective yet safe treatments. So, they accept donations from kind-hearted people, encourage others to become an advocate, shop from their retail partners, participate in clinical trials, and host fundraising events as well. Going back to Briana, she revealed in an interview that it’s not easy for her to see her mom struggling. So, to help those who also have lupus, or a loved one with lupus, she told them to stay strong and be supportive for their family member.
She also shared the changes that she noticed in her mother, and she said that her mother is always feeling tired and sick. She also mentioned that her mother has spent a lot of time in the hospital. Briana also reminisced the time when her mother has helped her with Nova (her daughter with Devoin Austin), but now, her mother won’t be able to help her like before. So, she has been by herself, but she knew that she had to be strong for her mother.
The reaction to her post
People wished her well upon seeing her post, and some have even advised her to drink an ample amount of water. In reply to that, Roxanne said that staying hydrated can help in preventing the vein from collapsing. She also expressed her gratitude for their good wishes.
For those who are not that familiar with the said disease, it is a disease that affects one’s immune system. And, often patients feel both fatigue and joint pain as the disease causes inflammation in the body, particularly with their lungs, kidneys and even the heart. Currently, there is no cure for it, but those who have it take medication to relieve some of its symptoms.
What it feels like to live with lupus
Well, Roxanne is not the only person in the world who is suffering from lupus. In fact, lupus is a disease that anyone can have, even popular personalities that we often see in the media. In 2013, the singer Selena Gomez has taken a break from the industry to receive treatment for lupus.
At first, she was in denial about it, but it eventually became a matter of life and death. Apart from undergoing chemotherapy treatments, she also had a kidney transplant with Francia Raisa, her best friend, as the kidney donor once she was experience kidney failure. Although feeling a little bit uncomfortable, she also feels overwhelmed with the supportive responses of the people regarding her condition.
Apart from Selena Gomez, Nick Cannon was also diagnosed with lupus in 2012. According to him, although he didn’t look sick, there were times when he woke up and find himself unable to move. Because of his condition, he had gotten blood clots, his knees had started to swell, and he had begun feeling fatigued. He even spent one Christmas in the hospital because of the severity of his symptoms.
It was then when he decided to make changes in his lifestyle after he cut out processed foods and stated eating more fish than meat. Fruits and vegetables were also added to his diet and when it comes to snacks, he only eats the healthy ones. He's also very fortunate that his lupus was diagnosed in an early stage as it prevented him from having any real damage done to his kidneys.
On the other hand, even Toni Braxton was diagnosed with lupus. She was sent to a hospital due to lupus flare-ups, but it wasn't until 2010 when she revealed in an interview that she was suffering from lupus. And, she also shared that she had an uncle who died from the said disease. According to her, there were days when she had to lay in bed, feeling like she had the flu. For her, it has become more challenging to live with lupus when she had to work and perform, but, she had never let it become a reason for her to cancel her shows.
Although she is being monitored regularly (even wearing a heart monitor to identify any chest pain), she is able to continue performing music. The medications and treatments that she has been receiving also made her gain weight, which made some think that she had received Botox treatments. But, Braxton addressed her weight gain as not a bad thing like others are making out to be, and has clearly showed that it is still possible to look good while being a bigger size.
According to Dawn Isherwood who is a health educator, Caucasian women are less likely to develop lupus than Hispanics, Asians, African Americans, and Native Americans. In fact, according to a study, in 537 young women (African American), 1 is affected by lupus. It is also more prevalent among women that are of childbearing age, although it is also possible for teenagers, children, and even men to develop it as well.
Lupus is a condition that Roxanne has to live with for the rest of her life and although it would surely not be an easy road, at least, she has the support of both of her daughters for this long journey ahead.