Stacey Kennedy-Conner’s lupus story
Stacey Kennedy-Conner was 15 years old when she was diagnosed with lupus. Through mentors at her high school, she was connected to lupus advocacy groups at a young age, and was introduced to the importance of building a sturdy support network. She has had lupus for almost 18 years now. She lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband, professionally works in the school system supporting families with resources and services, and is a devoted advocate for lupus research and clinical trials.
“... Overall, what I would want all lupus patients to know is that we have to, with this illness, define a new beginning for ourselves. And yes, it's hard. Yes, it's difficult. And I know we have a roller-coaster type of illness that we're dealing with, but we must always be mindful to keep going,” says Stacey. “You know, some days we can run, some days we can walk, some days we crawl, but the important thing is that we keep going.”
We were honored to speak with Stacey and hear about: the story of her lupus diagnosis, the importance of a support system, why clinical trials (and diverse representation in them) are critical, and her advice for newly diagnosed lupus patients.
This project was done in partnership with the Lupus Research Alliance, who graciously connected us with Stacey.
As Stacey alludes to, new treatments for lupus can’t move forward without volunteers for clinical trials. To learn more about clinical trial opportunities for people living with lupus, click the link below.