My name is Douang Barrett and I am a lupus survivor, no I am not cured, but have beaten many
odds. I was 15 when I was first diagnosed and it made me grow up really fast, I went from a healthy normal teen with no responsibilities
to having to schedule my medicines, doctor visits, and lab work. Like most of us I didn't know what this ''lupus'' was, why
and how I got it, how it was caused, and would there ever be a cure?
The lupus has changed me physically, I have gained
over 50lbs, my arms and back are damaged from light sensitivity, I have had to start wearing glasses, and my hair is very
thin and wavy. The stares I use to get because of my skin damage was painful, people would make rude comments or say ''eww''
or ''gross''. I remember a lady stepped out of line when it was her turn to be rung up at my register, she took one look at
me and walked off to get in another line. Things like that hurt more than any needle being pricked in your skin during blood
work, I’ve had to look beyond my hurt and just remember that people like that probably just don't know about my disease.
years ago I met my husband through a mutual friend; I didn't think he'd like me. We were totally different, he was tall, handsome,
and with light brown hair and the most beautiful blue eyes I’d ever seen. He was perfect to me; he wasn't blemished
or scarred in any way that I could tell. What would he see in a short, chubby, ''disfigured'' girl, maybe he'd run away or
say gross. Perhaps he'd pretend to be nice like all the other guys and then turn around and tell my friend that no one in
their right mind would want ''that''.
God has been so good to me, I married Aaron in April of 2001 and he has made
me feel like the most beautiful woman on earth. He sees my heart and my spirit, no one before or since has ever done that.
We now have a beautiful daughter named Daisy, who has made me feel that I can be all things and do all things because I of
the love she gives me. I am worried sometimes about what the future may bring, I am afraid to not be here to see Daisy grow
up, and to not be here with my husband to celebrate our 25th anniversary. So far, each day that I live, that I breathe, that
I hold my baby, that my husband kisses me, I know that everything will be just fine.
I am coping with lupus and so
far all is well. Yet physically and emotionally it drains me, but I have a home to run and a daughter to raise. This disease
cannot take what God has given to me, and by His will, I will live and I will fight. Hold on to what you hold dear, life is
too short to dwell on any problems or worries. To be able to share this with you all is a great blessing for me; I want to
be able to touch someone with my story.