COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Lupus affects millions of Americans and is a very difficult illness to live with.
We invited Detra Holloway, a Lupus patient who wants to raise awareness about this disease in Columbus, to our studios Monday March 3.
Holloway said she was first diagnosed with Lupus in 2008, and she started going to the doctor that same year. She received her official diagnosis in 2009.
Since her diagnosis her ankles have been swelling badly, so she went to the doctor because she hadn't eaten or done anything differently from her normal daily routine. Her doctor discovered she had protein in her urine, so her doctor suggested she go see a kidney doctor.
Holloway said symptoms include tiredness, body and joint aches, occasional chest palpitations. Everybody's different depending on what stage they're at with Lupus whether it's mild, moderate or severe. She said you can have kidney failure, but every symptom is different since everyone is affected differently by the disease.
She wanted to educate the community about Lupus and began support groups as well as her own foundation. After she was diagnosed and discovered nothing in Columbus for Lupus patients, she decided to start up her own after attending the first walk in Atlanta. She established Diamond Butterflies Lupus Foundation in 2011 to help them do events and bring more awareness to Columbus.
On May 3 she will host her fourth walk in Columbus. Holloway said she wanted to do something local so her friends and family don't have to go so far to participate in bringing awareness to Columbus.