Living With Lupus Weekend – Four Events to Help Lupus Survivors

Supporters at ‘Strike Out For Lupus’

By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter

Rachelle Roy, lupus survivor and warrior, hosted a Living with Lupus Weekend May 17-19. The four-part event kicked off with bowling Friday night at the Black-owned All Strike Bowling Alley, continued with a free wig give away at 1001 Dorr St. Saturday afternoon and karaoke night at The Trunk Club and ended with her annual Walk for Lupus at Ottawa Park Sunday morning. All proceeds from the events supported the Lupus Foundation.

Lupus is a chronic (long-term) disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of your body. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system — the body system that usually fights infections — attacks healthy tissue instead. (source:

Anyone can develop lupus. But certain people are at higher risk for lupus, including:

  • Women ages 15 to 44
  • Certain racial or ethnic groups — including people who are African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, or Pacific Islander
  • People who have a family member with lupus or another autoimmune disease (source:

Lupus has various symptoms and can affect individuals in different ways. Those who suffer from lupus can have issues with fatigue, damage to organs including kidneys and may develop skin problems.

Carly Ross, Rachelle Roy and Carlos Stallworth

Lupus can also cause hair loss due to the autoimmune disease itself or due to the medications prescribed to help battle symptoms from the disease.

Saturday morning a wig give away was held at 1001 Dorr St. This was the second annual wig give away that Roy has hosted. “I have a new wig section and a used wig section.,” stated Roy, all the wigs in the used section have been washed… if [the wigs] aren’t looking right we’re not bringing them out! We’re trying to make sure everyone walks out a beautiful butterfly.”

Friendship Baptist Church, where Roy is a member, donated over 60 wigs. Her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. donated about 25 wigs. “As well as various people— one day I walked out the house and had a wig on porch. There has been a lot of feedback from a lot of women,” she shared. Roy received close to a hundred wigs to give away for free.

Adida Miller is a supporter who has friends and family that suffer from the disease. She came to learn more about lupus and share the information with her family. “I didn’t expect to come out with a wig,” she said. She tried on a new wig Saturday and loved her new look.

Sheilda Lewis was diagnosed with lupus when she was 36. “I was working two jobs, raising two kids by myself and my hair started coming out, my ankles swelled up [so much] that I couldn’t wear regular shoes.”

“I was in Mercy Hospital that whole January. They were trying to figure out what was going on because it mimics other stuff,” she recalled. Now 74, Lewis has had many trials in her almost 40-year battle with lupus, even receiving a kidney transplant from her son. She has been doing well but now believes that lupus may be affecting her hair again.  The donations, support and advocacy from the community can help continue to help fight lupus.

To learn more about Living with Lupus events contact Rachelle Roy on Facebook or email