Meet our first One in Five Warrior Alicia S. Jackson. Alicia is a mother of a handsome 10 year old boy and a wife to her supportive husband of 4 years. Additionally, Alicia is also Lupus Nephritis warrior. However, that battle has not stopped her from being the courageous soul that she is.
Alicia’s battle began in November of 2017 when she began experiencing hives all over her body. Initially, Alicia was under the impression that an insect had gotten ahold of her. But after they continued to appear, and she became feverish, she decided it was time to visit her primary doctor. After running every test that he could think of, over the span of 3 months, he decided to refer Alicia to an infectious disease doctor. By this point, Alicia was now experiencing the infamous butterfly rash (often associated with Lupus). Because she persisted and stayed on top of her doctors, she was diagnosed within 4 months of her initial symptoms.
Alicia uses her faith on a day to day basis to help her cope with her pain. Her faith in God is unwavering, and it was evident in her smile as she talked about the mountains and valleys she has faced with chronic illness. Her faith is what has kept her mind focused on the plan that God has set for her life. Alicia continuously focuses on her self-development daily, so that her physical pain doesn’t affect her mental stamina.
A typical flare for Alicia consists of fevers, loss of appetite, and being stuck in bed. But on those days, her son is her biggest motivation and always manages to put a smile on her face. On her good days, Alicia enjoys being outside of the house, enjoying nature. She finds that on her good days it is easier to maintain her social life by going out to lunch with friends or sitting out on the porch. She states, “with chronic illness, you can feel good today and feel bad tomorrow, so when I’m feeling good…I want to get out of the house”. Her husband is often her sounding board, calling for her to relax even on good days sometimes, so that she does not wear herself out. The uncertainty of whether tomorrow will be a good day or bad day is one of the most difficult parts of her fight.
In July, Alicia began dialysis after blood work showed that her kidney was failing. Due to initially being diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis, she knew that her kidneys were already being attacked. She also knew it was only a matter of time before failure came. Upon the completion of her blood work, Alicia was told to go straight to the emergency room to begin emergency dialysis. Alicia described her dialysis experience as being “…really really tough” in the beginning. Even though she knew it was coming, nothing truly prepared her for that moment. But over the course of the past few weeks, Alicia has had a PD catheter placed so that she can now begin nightly dialysis in the comfort of her own home, instead of at the clinic.
Alicia states the advice that she would give to newly diagnosed chronic illness warriors is to get support. Find “a family member, somebody else dealing with the same thing, because they will understand what you are going through”. Alicia would also like the world to know that autoimmune diseases can be “complex and hard to treat”. Her hope for the autoimmune community in the future is first to find a cure, and second, to have better medication and treatment options.
Alicia is the true epitome of what a Chronic Endurance warrior is. Her life embodies strength, integrity and courage every single day.
Thank you Alicia for stepping out and sharing your story with us. Keep fighting and remember that we, your CEO family, will be fighting right beside you.
To follow Alicia's journey, follow her social media page https://www.instagram.com/aliciasjackson_/?hl=en
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