COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - With about 200,000 new cases every year, the chronic disease Lupus will be the topic of discussion at a empowerment symposium next week.
A local Lupus advocate wants to help educate as many people as possible about the disease.
More than a million people are living with Lupus in the U.S. With the upcoming symposium, the Georgia Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America will be able to make more people aware about the disease.
Painful, fatigued, challenging is how Detra Holloway of Columbus describes the daily pain of living with Lupus. The wife, mother and grandmother has been living with the autoimmune disease since 2008, and it took 17 months before she was diagnosed.
"I had swelling in my ankles and went to the doctor. I ended up seeing three different doctors before I got the officials diagnoses I had Lupus," said Holloway.
As an Lupus advocate, Holloway is taking part in the upcoming second annual Columbus Lupus Empowerment Symposium. Last year about 100 people came out and this goal is still the same, which is to reach more patients, caregivers and family members.
The symposium is free with lunch provided to all registered attendees. The event is Saturday, Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Columbus State University Cunningham Center.
Lupus mimics so many other diseases, it can go misdiagnosed like mine did. So people go for years without getting the right diagnoses. Just imagine imagine what you body is going through and how it could be deteriorating on the inside," said Holloway.
Presentations at the symposium will be given by physicians and professionals to help people understand how the disease works. The chronic disease attacks the immune system, causes inflammation and pain and damage to to various parts of the body.
"Support a family member, support a friend. Just to understand that you are looking at someone that's okay and they are not," said Holloway.
Holloway is in the process of coordinating the annual Lupus walk to be held on May 14 at the Hardaway High School track in Columbus. She also holds Monthly Support group meeting every third Thursday at the Columbus Library on Macon Road from 6:30- 8 p.m.For walk information and to register for the symposium, visit www.lupusga.org.