Lupus has tried to keep Isaac down since he was only 4 years old

Dear friend,

A tiny cut on my son’s foot almost killed him.

For most any other kids, it would have been nothing, but our Isaac was suffering from something else at the time that we didn’t realize.

Since age 4, Isaac’s little body had been secretly battling aggressive lupus. We knew something was wrong. From time to time, Isaac would suffer severe joint pain. The weight of a bedsheet on his skin would be unbearable. Doctors couldn’t figure it out. At first they thought it was growing pains. Later, they said it might be cancer.

Lupus is known as the disease with a thousand faces and it typically affects adult females, not young boys. Only when Isaac cut his foot while playing, at age 6, did the pieces fall into place. Isaac had a seriously depressed immune system as a result of lupus, and the infection that started in his foot and ravaged his whole body. He was so sick we were gently told to prepare ourselves.

Lupus Canada has asked me to share our story so that others may learn how serious and widespread this disease is. As you know lupus is an auto-immune disease that causes a person’s immune system to mistakenly attack healthy tissues, like the brain and other organs, bones and so on. It can be diagnosed in anyone at any age and affects 1 in every 1,000 Canadians and over 5 million people worldwide.

The work that Lupus Canada does is very important to my son Isaac and every Canadian with lupus. As you know, lupus is not one of the “famous” diseases, and it’s under-funded. From our own experience, it’s clear that awareness, education and advocacy efforts need our support. We need to push for more government- funded lupus medications, and we need better treatment options.

Lupus Canada funds critical, ground-breaking research that is the best hope people with lupus have for living a healthy life. Assisted by Catalyst Grants from Lupus Canada, several researchers are right now diving into new ways to understand and treat Lupus.

They need more funding to keep going, and I hope they find a breakthrough soon. Keeping Isaac healthy has been such a challenge. After drastic emergency surgery, where doctors literally scraped infection off his bones, Isaac slowly recovered from the staph infection that started from that tiny cut.

Infections are a serious threat to people with lupus. During flu season, Isaac has to take extra precautions like wearing a mask at school when required. But it doesn’t hold him back. He’s now 16 and in good health. Last Christmas our blessing was that he was taken off the corticosteroid, prednisone, which was a major milestone. Within a year, we expect his health to be in peak condition.

Soon, Isaac hopes to be studying aerospace engineering at university, that’s his dream.He was always fascinated by flight. Thanks to many doctors and nurses, to researchers, to Lupus Canada, and to donors like you, Isaac has the chance to soar through life as a successful aerospace engineer, despite having lupus. As Isaac now proudly says,“I can do everything that I love to do and work hard to reach my goals.

That’s wonderful, isn’t it? Thank you again for your help and best wishes for a joyous holiday season.

Warm regards,
Mother of Isaac, a teenager with lupus

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