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Wear purple to support lupus sufferers

People have been asked to wear purple today to support those suffering from lupus.

Two patients, who asked not to be named, shared their experience of the potentially fatal autoimmune disease.

“Blessing” said her illness started with severe migraine headaches, followed by bruises that “appeared randomly all over my legs and arms”.

She developed leg cramps and became “overly tired”, with lupus diagnosed in 2015.

Since then, her eldest daughter has contracted the disease.

The woman said the disease was “a way of life”, and that her case was mild compared with her daughter's. She added: “I am very careful about what I eat and try to avoid direct sun.

“I listen to my body when I feel a headache coming on and take something to relieve the pain immediately or I can suffer for days. I also try to get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of water and eat healthily.”

Mysterious aches afflicted her as a child, which her doctor dismissed as “just growing pains”.

She gave up complaining to her family and continued to suffer health problems.

The woman said: “When I became an adult, I felt I was too old for growing pains, because I had been in pain on and off most of my life. Prayer helped me to deal with the pain.”

Blessing added: “It's not the end of the world. You must avoid foods that will give you inflammation. Give thanks to God, stay strong, think positively and live life to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised.” She said the support of the Bermuda Lupus Association has been “awesome” and allowed her to meet other sufferers.

“Lady A”, a founding member of the island's first support group, said that she was the youngest patient in Bermuda at the time lupus was diagnosed.

Her sister and aunt later developed the disease — her sister died five years after lupus was diagnosed aged 27.

Lupus, which is often difficult to diagnose, is underreported around the world.

The World Lupus Federation is to petition the World Health Organisation to make the disease an international health priority.

The Bermuda group will hold a tag day on Sunday and a “put on purple day” is scheduled for May 18.

Fighting together: a participant at the Bermuda Lupus Association fun run shows her support (Photograph supplied)

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Published May 10, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated May 10, 2018 at 8:07 am)

Wear purple to support lupus sufferers

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