I attended a fabulous Lupus Summit this past weekend, hosted by the D.C. Maryland Virginia chapter of the LFA - and it was chock full of great speakers and great attendees. I had the opportunity to set up shop with my books and my bags, and it was such a nice venue to talk about lupus with people who truly understand.
Interestingly, it's not that there's a ton of "support group talk" going on - it's actually more a sense of belonging that you feel just being there. All at once, you're surrounded by people who look and act just like you - normal, interesting, intelligent folks who just happen to have a chronic, debilitating illness.
It reminds me of a selection in my book, where I talk about the sense of belonging I got from attending a support group meeting. I remarked as how the best part of my support group was the people, and the fact that we didn't sit around talking about how sick we were. Rather, we talked about our hobbies, interests, and even routine, everyday stuff, like work, home life, kids, and grandkids first. And then after that, we caught up on lupus stuff. That sense of an active, well-rounded community made me feel as though we were "normal, accomplished people first, and lupus patients second", (Chapter 5: Communicate Wisely.) And that's just the way I want to think of myself when it comes to lupus.
In fact, I realized not too long ago that same spirit carries over into the motivation to produce the pillbags. I wanted to feel like a stylish hip chick first, and a medicine-dependent patient second. If it's possible to achieve, why not make it happen? And why not give other people the opportunity to feel fun and fashionable, too?
So in honor of the positive impact my LFA chapter support group has had on my life with lupus, for the entire month of June, 5% of the sale of every pillbag will go directly to the D.C. Maryland Virginia Chapter of the LFA. So all of you locals out there, now's the time to buy a bag and support the cause...for your very own chapter!
Note that this kicks off our Charity of the Month club - where every month, a specific lupus charity will be designated to receive the charitable donations from the sale of pillbags during that month. Think your lupus charity (or chapter) should take part? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll look forward to it!