From the Archives of Lupus Now Magazine - Spring 2009
In many ways, Jillian Bante is like any other college freshman. On her own for the first time at the University of Maryland in College Park, the Rochester Hills, MI, native is taking introductory math, government, English, writing, and philosophy classes. Like most of her fellow students, Bante is living on campus, making new friends, and enjoying her independence. But unlike most of her fellow students, Bante is nearly blind, the result of complications of lupus.
Now 18, Bante was diagnosed with lupus as a 13-year-old high school freshman, after living with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for three years. In her young life, she has faced numerous hospitalizations and a high-risk stem cell transplant that substantially improved her health, but did not cure her immune disorders or fully restore her sight.
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