Let’s Win One for Jessica

Carrie told Emily and me that her friend Jessica Gibney had Lupus. I’ve known Jessica since she was a little girl because her older sister went to school with David, Carrie’s older brother. I know their parents, wonderful people who I saw regularly when David was in school and now haven’t seen since life took us in different directions. Not seeing friends regularly, in this busy world, doesn’t make them less friends. It just means you miss them more and you want to help them more when you find out that they need help.

So I want to help Jessica. Friends who read this, will you help? Please read the below letter from Jessica and give what you can. Your donation—whether in the form of a financial contribution to the Lupus Foundation or an expression of love and prayers to Jessica and her family—matters. Emily and I have been on the receiving end so I’m speaking from experience. Positive expressions only. It’s called “putting it out to the universe.” Jessica is a fighter. Won’t you join her team?

Thanks in advance.



* * *

Jessica’s letter:

Hi All,

I would first like to apologize to everyone for my lack of communication with most of you this past year. While I have been very sick, that is no excuse to not keep in touch.

With that being said, some of you may know this year I was diagnosed with Lupus. I have been battling with my health for many years and after several months in bed and several trips to the hospital I was finally diagnosed with Lupus.

At this point you may be wondering what Lupus is. Lupus is a long-term autoimmune disorder that may affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. The underlying cause of autoimmune diseases is not fully known. Since they do not know what causes Lupus, there is no cure for Lupus. They only recently developed a drug that is specifically designed to treat Lupus. Before that, all drugs were used to treat symptoms of the disease, not the disease itself. The new drug was only approved by the FDA within the last year and most insurance companies still do not cover the treatment because of its astronomical cost. The treatments are between $3,000 and $8,000 and are infused once a month for the course of your life.

With that being said I am obviously not currently taking the treatment. I am currently on low-dose chemotherapy to reduce the effects of the Lupus and slow down my immune system.

I am planning to participate in a Lupus fundraiser walk in connection with the Lupus Foundation of America. I know that times are hard but if you or someone you know might be able to donate even if it’s only $1 to help support the study of the disease and hopefully the cure, I would be grateful. Also if anyone would like to join my family’s walk team (Team Gibney), please feel free. This year’s Walk for Lupus is being held on Sunday, June 3rd at the Detroit Zoo.

Please help me in my efforts to support Lupus Foundation of America – Michigan and Northwest Ohio Chapter. You can do so by visiting my personal web page and donating to this great cause.

If your email system does not support the use of links, you can copy and paste the following into your browser: http://lupusmichigan.kintera.org/faf/r.asp?t=4&i=1010991&u=1010991-351700170&e=5430747492.

Over 600,000 Michigan and Ohio residents battle Lupus every year. Your support will make a significant difference in their lives.

I have faith there is a cure just waiting to be found.

With all my love and hope for the future,

Jessica S. Gibney