Lisa Lynn Eveleth is the founder of LIVEFIT WITH LUPUS and a Lupus patient. In 1986, various symptoms presented themselves which led to a battery of hospitalizations, medications and surgeries. Lupus attacked her kidneys, lungs, skin, heart and brain resulting in seizures, kidney failure and bouts of existence in a wheel chair. In realization, she couldn't imagine a future that wasn't dictated by her disease. But rather than give up, she began educating herself about Lupus and other autoimmune diseases. The more she read, the more she began to understand the devasting effects and the full impact of autoimmune diseases. It was at that point she recognized she could let the disease destroy her, define her or develop her. She decided to make a life long commitment to her health, fitness and wellness. As someone who has struggled the majority of her life with a serious illness, she is proud to say her body can meet the challenges set before it. She is able to compete in fitness competitions, work as a personal trainer and a group fitness instructor. For Lisa, the word "fitness" extends far beyond physical appearance or athletic ability. For Lisa, "fitness" means health.
LIVEFIT WITH LUPUS is a newly formed, non-profit, filed 501c3 organization formed to provide awareness for lupus and other autoimmune diseases. The organization's Mission Statement is "To promote health and wellness, inspire others to overcome their own obstacles and create autoimmune awareness in the community and eventually around the globe." Our future goal is to host an Autoimmune education outreach center in the Quad-Cities. We plan to offer nutritional counseling, specialty physician resources, beauty wellness, fitness education, businesses within the business, youth to senior activities, psychology and emotional support. Various fundraising events are planned throughout the year. Our big event in 2014 is a 1 mile, 5K and ½ Marathon Race at the Black Watch Room (at Pebble Creek Golf Course) in LeClaire, Iowa on Saturday, May 17, 2014. After the race we are having a Post Party Event with live entertainment, kids activities, local vendors and other activities.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease in which the immune system does not function properly and attacks normal healthy tissues. It is unpredictable, debilitating, destructive and can be fatal. It can result in inflammation and symptoms throughout the body including connective tissue, blood and organs. There are between 1.5 and 3 million people with Lupus in the United States alone.
In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.
Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better).
These are some additional facts about lupus that you should know:
- Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot "catch" lupus from someone or "give" lupus to someone.
- Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, as described above.
- Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive.
- Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.
- Our research estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus.
- More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country.
- It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.
- Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too.
- Women of color are two to three times more likely to develop lupus than Caucasians.
- People of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus.
Information provided by the Lupus Foundation of America.