Jessica Greekwood, loving wife and mother of two looks like a model of perfect health but that’s what living with lupus is like.
“Lupus hits every part of your body. Sometimes you have symptoms and you don’t even know it’s lupus,” said Greekwood.
She’s currently going through chemo. She’s been in the hospital 5 times in two years.
“It fights your body and you don’t even know how to defend yourself,” said Greekwood.
But don’t feel sorry for her, she’s fighting back.
“I’m not going to be ‘woe-is me’. I refuse,” said Greekwood.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease. It impacts mainly women in the prime of their lives.
“We don’t know what triggers lupus,” said Dr. Bonnie Bermas of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Doctor Bonnie Bermas said because lupus mimics other diseases patients’ symptoms can range from joint pain and fatigue to kidney failure.
While she can treat the symptoms, there is no cure.
“We need more knowledge on lupus to help develop better treatments,” said Dr. Bermas.
When Jessica was first diagnosed more than 15 years ago, doctors feared she couldn’t have children.
She won that fight and hopes to ultimately win the war on lupus.
“I’m winning. I’m stronger now than I was a year ago,” said Greekwood.
Jessica and hundreds of others are walking this weekend at the Common to raise awareness and money for research and to support the million and a half others who are battling this disease.