I never would have thought that I would feel so blessed in just a few short days. I did not know what to expect when I was invited to attend the LFA’s Advocacy Day 2010. I will honestly say now that it was the best experience I have ever had. I flew in from Denver and was so tired when I got off the plane, but excited to see my fellow lupies & to be in DC.
I went to register for Advocacy Day, and was greeted by two great familiar faces which was a highlight for me. I was immediately relieved when I walked in the lunch that was provided by the LFA. I am a social person who loves to meet others. I met so many others who are able to share so many of the daily struggles that I also deal with, and I know that I will always keep in touch with them. This bonding process was incredible.
The day was great with training for us to be prepared for Capitol Hill and the evening with more guest speakers was even better. My highlight of the night came at around 10:30 p.m. when the alarm at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel went off and I walked down 15 flights of stairs out in the rain with a sweat suit & dress shoes on. All of us out in the grass with the rain were a sight to see!! I still giggle about this!!!
I will admit that I was very nervous about my meetings on Capitol Hill, and how they were going to go. I can honestly say that it was one of the most exciting experiences I have ever had. We presented each staff representative with an informational folder and a lupus bracelet for them to band together with us. Everyone greeted us with smiles. We informed them about the lupus facts and I told them my personal story, which touched each of them. It was amazing because only I can tell my story and they were willing to listen. This kept me at my comfort level, so explaining why we need their support for more funding for education and awareness programs was a piece of cake. We need it, so asking for it is the easy part. Even if it takes a few more years for us to reach our goals ... just to know that I had a hand in asking & sharing my personal story meant more to me than anything. I look forward to attending next year.
I am now taking the time out to thank each & every staff member at the Lupus Foundation of America for being the strength for those of us with lupus. The LFA puts together some amazing events to help with our continued fight. My heart is content knowing that we are supported.
A fighter with lupus “Smiling Everyday”
Photo: Kesha Dan, lupus advocate from Denver, Colorado, on Capitol Hill for the LFA's 2010 Advocacy Day