50 Lupus LA team members participated in the events and raised over $50,000! Dr. Suhas Radhakrishna was one of them. Here are his thoughts before the big race:
“I am running the Lupus LA 5K to support the amazing kids I’ve seen during my Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and the incredible work of Lupus LA.
As one of their doctors, I know the challenges kids face in their struggles against lupus. I’ve seen them in their cramped hospital beds, barely able to move with fatigue, often with extensive rashes and swelling in their joints. Some have been even sicker: hallucinating or comatose, breathing through a ventilator, or needing dialysis.
Most have seen several doctors searching for a diagnosis. Finally after a battery of tests, they get the bewildering diagnosis of lupus, and are told they must take medications for months, often with unpleasant side effects. This is to say nothing of the mix of fear, depression, anger, and isolation many experience during this time whenever the disease “flares” or threatens to return again.
Fortunately, I have the incredible privilege of seeing these kids and their families make it through these tough times. It is such a joy to see them in clinic and listen to their stories about basketball tournaments, pottery classes, or plans for college.
I can’t wait to join them to celebrate their successes by lacing up our sneakers and hitting the pavement! I am also running to support Lupus LA, a phenomenal organization that provides patient services, raises awareness and supports research.
With the generous support and hard work of Lupus LA, we at CHLA have been running a support and education discussion group for families with lupus and other rheumatic diseases. This group helps families find common ground in their fight against lupus, from understanding the disease better to being able to explain it to others, developing healthy coping and reflection skills, building self-esteem, getting support in school and planning for the future. It has, without a doubt, changed lives.”