My Lupus Journey by Tanya Carlton, Volunteer President, Lupus Canada

“But you look great. What’s the matter with you?”

If I had just one wish, it would be that everyone could understand what lupus really is. What it feels like for the people who have it. To know that even though I might look okay on the outside, I often feel terrible on the inside.

I was first diagnosed with lupus while going to law school. I was just 33 years old. I know how difficult it is to be trying to finish a degree while feeling so sick. I couldn’t do it and had to go down to part time. In the end, it took me an extra year, but I did finish my law degree!

Personally, I feel like one of the lucky ones. I’m feeling so much better these days. In fact, that’s why I’m able to give back and help out in this volunteer role as President of Lupus Canada’s Board of Directors.

Sure, I still have my bad days. Those days when I feel so tired I don’t even want to get out of bed. But I do it. I do it because I have a vision and a dream to help raise awareness of this disease. To help people to at least understand what it’s like to live with the debilitating symptoms of lupus every single day.