Tania’s journey with lupus began many years before she even knew it was what she had. She experienced many symptoms of lupus, but did not know what was going on. After many trips to the ER and visits to several specialists, she was finally diagnosed in 2012. Like many people who are diagnosed with a chronic illness, she went through anger, fear and finally acceptance of her diagnosis. Along the way, she turned to the internet to educate herself about this new part of life she would have to live with. Many of the sites she found left her feeling hopeless and afraid. However, Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus became a great source of hope by giving her the feeling she could live her life.
Amongst many other roles, Tania is a wife, mother, stay at home mom, friend, business owner, and a lupus warrior. She lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA with her husband Vernon and their 9 and 11 year old sons. Vernon is an IT Manager, and with Tania, they own their online retail business shoppeblvd.com. Together, Tania and Vernon have chosen to partner with Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus to spread awareness about lupus and to fund research toward a cure.
It was through the resources available on Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus that Tania was able to become knowledgeable about living with lupus. She started to feel hopeful, not hopeless, and empowered to know that she has lupus, but it DOES NOT have her. This helps to keep Tania mentally and emotionally strong despite fears, anxieties, and even depression at times.
Tania still lives with constant pain, fatigue, swelling, allergic reactions, and never knowing when she’s going to lose another patch of hair. Despite this, she is a dedicated lupus warrior, fighting to live the best quality of life possible. Regular exercise and very strict dietary constraints, as well as tremendous support from Vernon and her boys, allows her to live a relatively full life.
Many times, Tania gets comments such as “but you don’t look sick!” from people who do not understand what she goes through. They say, “you look great!”, but they don’t recognize the layers of makeup that she wears to conceal rashes on her face. They see the pretty hair extensions or wigs but don’t realize that it conceals her hair loss. They see all the cute hats she wears that really are there to protect her sensitive scalp from sunlight as well as artificial light. When people see her long sleeve tops and light jackets even when it’s hot out, they say to her “aren’t you hot?!”, but she has to wear them to protect her skin from the sun. People think she’s on some new fad diet why she only drinks water with lemon. However, it is all she can drink without getting sick. Oh yeah, she’s also known as the lady with the umbrella on a completely sunny day. But what they don’t know is that her umbrella has a special UV coating that protects her from the rays of the sun that can trigger a lupus flare.
Despite all, Tania does her best to top it all off with a smile. She is always willing to help others understand lupus and what it can do to someone. She is passionate about spreading awareness and sharing hope with others who are also fighting lupus.
Because of their passion for the cause, Tania and Vernon will donate 2% of every sale made on shoppeblvd.com to Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus. Their hope is that Tania can be an inspiration to others fighting lupus and that the donations will provide financial support to spread awareness and to fund research toward a cure.