Group raises awareness about lupus

Published 3:43 pm Saturday, May 30, 2015

 Damyas and D’angelo Coleman hold a banner with participants behind them at the start of the first Warriors Lupus Walk on Saturday at the Alexis Hunter Memorial Park behind Selma High School.

Damyas and D’angelo Coleman hold a banner with participants behind them at the start of the first Warriors Lupus Walk on Saturday at the Alexis Hunter Memorial Park behind Selma High School.

Hearing the word lupus brings questions to many, as many people have not heard of the autoimmune disease.

That’s why Tammy Moore and her sister Tiffany Moore decided to reach out to the community and find those that are struggling with the lupus, just as Tammy is.

Together they are looking to create a support group in Selma and kicked off by having the first annual Warriors Lupus Walk Saturday at the Alexis Hunter Memorial Park behind Selma High School.

“I was 16 when I got diagnosed, and I was young and I was scared,” a now 35-year-old Tammy said. “We need to get the word out about lupus. A lot of people don’t know.”

The sisters organized the event where they invited the community to come out and walk and learn a little about lupus.

“This is lupus awareness month. … We decided to do something here in Selma,” Tammy said as she addressed those in attendance. “Our main goal was to connect with people that have lupus. We want to be a support to each other.”

Before taking the first step, a few words were spoken from Tammy and Tiffany, along with Selma’s own Judge Collins Pettaway Jr.

“I’m here in support of what we’re doing here for lupus. We need to make everybody away of what’s going on,” Pettaway said. “Lupus is one of those diseases that our medicine does not know enough about yet.”

Lupus is a disease caused when the immune system attacks not only bad, but good tissues causing the body to break down. It can affect a person’s skin, heart, blood cells, lungs and more.

“Basically what lupus does is within your body, you have an anti immune defense system and basically when you have issues going on, you have antibodies that go and attack the problems that you have, but with the lupus comes in, it makes those anti bodies start attacking the healthy tissue, and it starts tearing your body down,” Pettaway said explaining the disease. “Let’s all spread the word and let everybody know that we do have another issue out there –– lupus, that we all need to look at.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, lupushas many different signs and symptoms and can affect the joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels. People with lupus may experience fatigue, pain or swelling in joints, skin rashes, and fevers. These symptoms may come and up between flares and periods of remission.

The causes of lupus are unknown, but are believed to be linked to genetic, environmental and hormonal factors.

Tammy has had lupus for 19 years now, and understands the struggles of every day life living with the disease. She said if not for her family, she doesn’t know that she would have made it this far in her battle.

The event Saturday was a way for her to express her appreciation for her family and friends and to share with others the importance of having support while dealing with lupus and other chronic illnesses.

“It’s an honor … to share my testimony with somebody of how I made it with the support of my family,” Tammy said. “Without support, I don’t think I could have made it as far as I have and as long as I have because lupus does affect you in your mind as well as your body.”

Tammy said she hopes that the walk will bring people together and help spread the word about lupus.

“People don’t know anything about lupus, so we want to educate you and educate ourselves,” Tammy said. “My main goal is to reach out to the community, to start a group, to get people aware so we can help each other.”