Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) national spokesperson, Mercedes Yvette, and chair of the LFA Medical-Scientific Advisory Council, Dr. Gary Gilkeson, appeared on the ABC News Now program, Healthy Living, on April 7 to discuss lupus. Mercedes discussed how lupus has affected her life and her role as a spokesperson for the LFA. Dr. Gilkeson provided the program’s more than 35 million viewers an overview of lupus, its impact, plus an update on new developments in research and treatment.
Mercedes won the hearts of millions of Americans through her struggles with lupus, which were chronicled in 2004 on the hit UPN Television Network show, “America’s Next Top Model,” hosted by supermodel Tyra Banks. Despite the constant pain and fatigue of living with lupus, Mercedes went on to become runner-up in the model competition. She later became a national spokesperson for the LFA while building a successful modeling career.
Dr. Gilkeson is a Professor of Medicine/Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine for Research. Dr. Gilkeson's research and clinical interests are both in lupus, particularly lupus nephritis. His clinical focus in lupus nephritis is the factors resulting in the ethnic disparity in outcomes in lupus comparing African Americans to Caucasians.
View the segment about treating and diagnosing lupus featuring Dr. Gilkeson and Mercedes.
View the segment about living with lupus featuring Mercedes.