BALTIMORE - Can you imagine being so sick that you can't get out of bed? Stephanie Teagle has had many days like that.
"I was passing out. I kept having headaches, nausea. I was losing weight and hair like crazy," Stephanie Teagle, who suffers from Lupus said.
That was 1993 and Stepahnie Teagle says her doctor told her the problems she was experiencing were in her head.
"They kept telling me that they couldn't find anything and actually told me that I was a hypochondriac," Teagle said.
It wasn't until after Teagle suffered a massive stroke, followed by two others, the second that left her paralyzed for a year and a half that she was finally diagnosed with Lupus. Teagle was relieved.
"Finally somebody has an answer because I was beginning to think that something was wrong with me," Teagle said.
Since her diagnosis, Teagle has become very active with the Lupus Foundation. She and her co-workers proudly sport their purple. Her team “Butterflies Hope” has walked in the fundraiser for the past four years. She's not the only one in her family who lives with the auto-immune disease. She has a niece and a cousin who have it as well. Teagle’s sister died from complications associated with Lupus.
"I believe that she would still be here today, if she was more knowledgeable of the disease, [and] If she had a doctor that knew more about the disease," Teagle said.
Lupus affects the joints, muscles, nervous system, lungs and makes the sun intolerable.
"I used to sing professionally but I had to give that up as well I just don't have the lung capacity," Teagle said.
Teagle believes Lupus is often ignored because those who have it look good on the outside.
"I can tell you from experience that everybody knows somebody who has Lupus. They may not know it, but it is. Almost one of out every 10 persons is being diagnosed," Teagle said.
Teagle has seen progress over the years with research and new medications. This Saturday she'll work for her sister, family, herself and future generations.
"Even if I'm around to see it, because what I do see is beginning to affect people at a younger age now so I feel hopeful that they won't have to go through all of the things that I am going through," Teagle said.
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