Dr. Naomi Jeanty is our hero. She is beautiful inside and out and a shining example of courage and tenacity in her daily living with lupus, a chronic medical condition with no cure.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1.5 million Americans currently suffer from this disease, with 16,000 more developing lupus each year. Lupus is an auto-immune condition where the immune system becomes overactive. Antibodies (cells that are normally produced to fight off infection) instead attack organs in the body such as the kidneys, heart, lungs, skin, and joints. Approximately 90 percent of lupus patients are women and most of the initial diagnoses occur between the ages of 15 and 44. African-American women are three times more at risk for lupus than Caucasian women.
Although lupus is more common than leukemia, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis, this painful, chronic autoimmune disease remains mostly unknown to the public.