Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems, including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. Many Belizeans continue to fight this disease. Joycelyn Jacobs knows the struggles only too well; her daughter Mitera Wade has been living with the debilitating disease.
Joycelyn Jacobs – Daughter suffers from Lupus: “Four years time I have seen all it has done to my daughter already, it’s a terrible thing. It deals with the fingernails, the eyeball, the skin, the belly and the hair. The skin gets some sores, the size of a horse foot that is the size of the sore. But God is so good and God works through the doctors they found the medication and she eased up with some of the sores but she still has some. With Lupus it looks like you will all the time have a skin problem and pain.”
Jacobs said it has been a struggle for her as a parent to cover the medical expenses of her daughter’s illness.
Joycelyn Jacobs – Daughter suffers from Lupus: “When I come out here I save my money at Credit Union when the month comes so that I can have exact the $725 to buy her medication and I don’t get some of them in Belize, I get some in Merida and some in Guatemala. The tests, people with Lupus check their kidneys, liver, heart everything in six months time every time two times for the year.”
Reporter: You said she was diagnosed at 14, is she currently going to school?
Joycelyn Jacobs – Daughter suffers from Lupus: “She was at the Belmopan Hospital and she got very sick on me for the graduation timing and she didn’t go back to school and didn’t’ get her diploma nothing and only six months was left for graduation. She wants to go back to school but then how will I send her back to school when I have to find the medication and the money to send her back to school because I was planning to send her to 4H in Belmopan but then you see it’s the money to send her back to school.”
Jacobs can be seen regularly at the pedestrian crossing near Save-U Supermarket with a sign soliciting funds to assist her daughter. For those who would like to assist, Jacobs can be reached at telephone number 664-5515. Today is being observed as World Lupus Day.