May is Lupus Awareness Month. Lupus is an unpredictable and sometimes fatal disease, and according to the Lupus Foundation of America affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans and at least five million people worldwide. Guest columnist Ginger Cornwell, a lupus survivor shares her personal journey.
I was diagnosed with lupus in August of 2000. The doctor told me to get my family together and my affairs in order because I didn’t have long to live. So I went home, devastated. For almost a year I laid on my couch crying and waiting to die. One day two very simple things occurred to me. First, a year had passed and I was still alive and second, when I went to the doctor in 2000 I already had lupus. He simply gave me the diagnosis. I decided to wear the label of lupus and let the fear of the label overcome me.
I had to remind myself of whose child I am. I had to step out on faith and truly put my trust in God. I had to tell myself every day “God’s got this.” I had to take my one step, so that God could take the two that he promises. I had to alter some things in my life. I changed what I was eating and drinking. I increased my water intake. I worked at decreasing stress. I prayed.
I researched. Don’t let the doctor tell you that the body that God designed is diseased and you don’t research what it is that they are telling you. Don’t take medication without first researching what it is and what the potential side effects are.
The Word of God says to get wisdom; with wisdom comes understanding. I’m not by any means minimizing the effects of lupus. I am however telling you, as a 13-year, living testament, that you don’t have to die from the diagnosis.
Ginger Cornwell is known professionally as Ginger On Sax. She is a gospel saxophonist, vocalist, speaker and recording artist. A lupus survivor, Ginger created “SUPUL – Reverse Lupus”, a program designed to assist Lupus patients. She is producer and talk show host for the award-winning “Sing To The King” gospel artist showcase television broadcast. Ginger is married to Martin Cornwell, former lead guitarist and band leader of the legendary R&B group, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. To learn more about Ginger, visit www.gingeronsax.com