heard of lupus? Well, I'm Jessica, and I'm nine years old, and that's
I have. Here's
how it all started.
When I was
old, I was sick for a very long time. I got poked a lot and it hurt,
I got used to it. I learned that I had something called pericarditis.
a problem with the heart. I learned that it's not fun when your heart
doesn't work like it's supposed to.
That's when I found out that I had lupus, and that's when I learned
it was lupus all along that caused the problem with my heart. It was
hard for me when they were figuring everything out. I had a kidney
biopsy done and the doctors told me some bad news and some not so bad
They said that I had severe kidney damage-for a normal kid-but that it
was only average damage for a kid with lupus. Well at least it wasn't
I was in the third grade, everyone except my friends teased me and said
that I looked fat, I guess because I had always been skinny. I wasn't
fat. The medicine that I needed to take made me look that way, that's
I was sad, so I asked my mother to come in and talk to the kids about
and about what I had been through. She's a nurse, so she really can
kids to understand things.
one kid teases
because it hurts people's feelings, like mine. I hope that if you tease
anyone, well then you'll apologize afterwards when you think about it.
I know that sometimes kids tease because they just don't understand and
they feel scared. That's what happened in my class anyway.
understanding and I can share my secrets with them. They always stick
me and they never tease. They don't care if I have lupus or not. You'd
Now I get
my life as if nothing happened. The medicine helped me feel like my old
self, and I can play soccer, which I LOVE, and do most anything else. I
think that my family and my friends helped me the most during the past
few years. I'm writing about all this because I thought you might be
If you'd like to know some more, I hope that you'll write me a
If you do,
you about my brand new dog, too. I got a German Shepherd puppy for
We call him Zeus, even though his real name is Zeus's Comet. He's real
cute, and I love him so much! he likes to play with my other dog,
who's a Great Terrier. They used to fight, but they're friends now. In
April, I get to take him to obedience training. I had a really tough
right after Christmas, and had to go to the Intensive Care Unit. Am I
glad that I'm better, now!
to see what I'm up to now?
Want to learn
Lehman COllege, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468
August 12, 2006