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Hello... my name is Saa-rah Gabriels. This is me below.

For the

past six very long years I've been suffering from a rear but debilitating disease, called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, abreviated S.L.E or just Lupus, for short. I am aged 22 and I have just recently been diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. As a at a private hospital, which came at a huge cost to my family, purely to have an internal-jugular catheter installed in my cavalartery junction so that I could receive hemodialysis. This was a

though it was a scorching 35 degrees outside. In and around this time I was suffering from joint pains in my hands but was told by some doctor that it was growing pains, which was later dichicken pox but when it started to spread to my face, I thought ranging from several dozen of spurious sicknesses with names tracted a severe rash on my hands which at first looked like agnosed as carpal-tunnel syndrome. Meanwhile, I also con-

consequence, I had to undergo urgent and immediate surgery

general practitioners and undergoing numerous miss-diagnosis,

it may have been exam stress. However, after visiting numerous

necessary step for my continued survival, because for some obscure and inhumane reason, I no longer qualify for medical as-

sistance at any government hospital. However, the prognosis after the internal-jugular catheter installation was, that it is imto add insult to injury, I would have to go for this hemodialysis perative that I staunchly attend some prohibitively expensive hemodialysis clinic at least three times per week without fail. But

rapidly to the point that I was just a bag of bones. I couldn't

adversely affected my health and I was physically regressing very

tick-bite fever. Meanwhile, all the medication they prescribed,

I can't even pronounce let alone remember, up-to and including

was constantly out of breath. All my dear and already stressedwart, my anchor in life and as a single parent, she raised me to but she did managed to get me admitted at Victoria Hospital. posing as the butterfly's body. This butterfly effect was in-fact a case of full blown Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Months of the best of her ability, whilst suffering great financial hardship

walk, couldn't talk, couldn't even go to the toilet unaided and I

treatment for the rest of my natural life, unless I have a kidney sis or alkalosis in some hospice. Having read this, I am certain that you share my sentiments, that no child should die before of their child.....

out mother could manage, was to pray and cry. She was my stal-

transplant. But, if I failed to go for dialysis, I would certainly die a painful and drawn-out death as I waste away from acido-

The rash on my face ended-up resembling the shape of a buttelltale sign, and because of it, I was diagnosed with a classic

their parent nor is it normal for any parent to witness the death

terfly with its wings spread across my cheeks and my nose bone

autobiography, the funds raised from it, will go towards settling

But firstly, I wish to thank you for purchasing my mini picture

creasing cost of my daily medication, hospitalization and for my 100 percentum of my medical expenses. Perhaps, your sincere and unselfish support would give me, a real chance at life. As a other normal 15 year old girl has. Amongst them were, to sucyoung girl of 15 years, I had several aspirations, much like every sibility towards instating a medical-aid policy that would cover regular exorbitantly expensive hemodialysis treatments and pos-

existing hospital bills, to help pay for the huge and ever in-

illness and hospitalization prevented me from writing exams and constant absenteeism caused by my regular hospitalization had

my intermittent yet frequent Lupus flare-ups prevented me dashed all my hopes of ever having a normal school career. I

from returning to school. I am still saddened to think that my am even saddened further at the thought that without a basic school education, I would never have a profession, let alone be able to hold down a job, or provide for myself, all because of my unstable and ever changing medical condition. What hurts

perhaps live to be as old as my grandma with her 25 grand-chilto drop out of grade 10 at Al-Azhar High on Monday 26 June handed me my test paper onto which I only managed to write with the June exams and all I now remember is that my teacher 2006. I took ill on the school premises, the very day we started on the cards for me. Through no fault of my own, I was forced dren. However, it ails me and I am really, sad to say, this is not

ceed at school, to have a profession, to become a mother and

the most, is that motherhood or pregnancy, isn't even an option worth considering because of the ill effects that my daily toxic medication would have on the unborn foetus. Having said that, full-blown Lupus sufferers like me, because of the high rate of

the medical profession as a whole recommend sterilization for stillborn babies, malformation prematures and babies with

down-syndrome born, due to the high toxicity of the meds. But regardless of this, my medication is my crutch, each and pretty colours and interesting shapes, but they are all ghastly, every day, I have to take some 38 tablets of various sizes, with

in the school sick bay looking up at the familiar face of my

my name and surname. Several hours later, I found myself lying

mother stooping over me. I was shivering of the cold even

age person puke. They make me vomit, give me headaches that cramps that also lasts for days. Certain imperative medication destroys my bone and teeth calcium which weakens my skeleton

bitter, foul smelling and nasty tasting and would make the aver-

ing to live with and can only equate it to living in the shadow of

last for several days and cause me excruciating stomach and leg

gardless of this I have the zest for life since I have come to just makes me more eager to grab at every chance I get to share terms with the fact that death is inevitable and inescapable. This a few more years with my loved ones.

an ever looming cloud of death lingering above my head. Re-

wheel chair at times. Because of my calcium disturbance I have

causing me to stay tired, hence I need to be pushed about in a

had to have several teeth cut-out and as a consequence of my medication, I also suffer from incessant tooth ache. The anbranes, resulting in severe bouts of thrush. And the combined tibiotics I take, kills off the natural bacteria of my mucus mem-

As toxic as my Lupus medication is, my body has somehow acillness this certainly was not the case. Even though I have no

climatized itself to it by now, but during the initial stages of my cousins, the side effects of my meds made me high as a

recollections of it, but according to mom and several of my coot and turned me into Mrs. Hyde, I was psychotic, raucous, bowel movements. As a consequence I relieved myself all over led to me having to wear nappies. Somehow I didn't approve on this dress code and tore it off at every possibility, driving my dear mom stir crazy with the havoc and carnage I created. Apparently I was even guilty of hiding meds inside According to my aunt, who cared for me and slept by my side, was suffering from hallucinations and blurted the house and especially on the soft furniture which eventually incoherent, violent and suicidal, with an inability to control my

medication has scarred my kidneys to the point that I now only lungs and my legs causing my body, my limbs, face , cheeks and

effect of Lupus along with the long term side effects of the

unable to rid my body of excess water, the water goes into my prompt you to ask, So why do I insist on I taking such vile eyelids to swell up, making me look like a pumpkin. This may

have 10 % functionality left. Since the kidneys is

mune system and keeps the Lupus at bay and keeps me alive.

medication? Well, the short answer is that it suppresses my imSystemic Lupus is essentially a disease which affects 1 in every

my nappies just not to take them because they drove me wild. out all the cousin's secrets, all of whom were scared off, never her through tremendous agony. I

various medication in the blood stream and use this data to tem to go into high alert but never responds to any impulse to switch off its alert status, thus the body starts attacking its own

the Lupus flare-ups, by monitoring the active ingredients of the

cure, but that modern medicine is able to somewhat control

10 000 females. I was told that it is a terminal disease without a

to return until I became normal. I even pulled out my favorite and inseparable cousin's hair out of head roots and all, putting

moderate them by varying the dosage on a monthly bases. Tech-

nically Lupus is a systemic disease that causes the immune sys-

of rejecting them, thereby killing off itself. I have seen Lupus in

organs as if they were foreign objects with the ultimate intention

three times per year. But my latest Lupus flare-up, aggravated by pneumonia, guaranteed me a three week stay in Groote Schuur Hospital which eventually turned to pluracy. Whilst in Groote Schuur Hospital I contracted two more infections which had to done. Several dozen tests were carried out on me daily, ranging

into hospital for a minimum period of a week, no less than

Almost every Lupus flare-up over the past six years forced me

action and have first hand knowledge of its viciousness.

sufferers with whom I developed very close but very short friendships before their demise, non of them having seen their never ever get to embrace them again. Then there are so many Lupus patients but older than 30, each having children who will 22nd birthday. Then there was Fritz, Ellenor and Belinda

Natheema, Melani and Zoe are just three of my fellow Lupus

be stabilized before any further treatments or tests could be from X-rays to ECG's to Ultra sound and to a Kidney Biopsy. tors to decide on an immediate but temporary insertion of a The results from the Kidney biopsy was serious enough for docfemoral catheter to administer dialysis because my kidneys were thereafter, a panel of doctors unanimously decided that I no hospitalization, chronic care and future dialysis which in itself that my family would have carry the cost of longer qualify for treatment at Groote Schuur Hospital and failing. This was a turning point in my life, because immediately my

other kidney patients that I have come to know who died before I could commit there names to memory. These events consume my thoughts, and stays in my mind for days on end, and it often saddens and depressed me to the point that I become over-

whelmed with feelings I cannot explain. It is not the easiest feel-

to give me one of her kidneys. According to them, regardless of

candidate for a kidney transplant even though my mom offered

is hugely expensive. According to the medics, I am not a good

solution. After dialysis I normally feel totally disorientated and

miserable and in pain which alerts me to the urgency to re-medels. This makes it very obvious that dialysis treatments and icate, in order to get my chemical compound to the desired lev-

having a live donor kidney, my Lupus is far to volatile to attempt a transplant, which would need to be completely stable for a pebut which would also have to be done privately. Even though

riod no less than three years before they would even attempt it,

trol and live with, and therefore it is definitely not business as usual for me, as it is for other Kidney patients.

Lupus as a combined condition is much more difficult to con-

this may even be considered as a shimmer of hope on the dismy birthday, and even if I did survive long enough to have a kidney - Allah wa 'alam.

Lupus has flared-up each and every year in and around time of

tant horizon, my body's track record says otherwise, since my

Asking strangers for a handout is not easy and even though ysis treatment long term, very few has come to our financial aid. I am eternally grateful for those who did contribute and I make duah all the time that Allah (SWT) showers his mercy on them, est levels in Jannatul Firdose. My parents separated when I was only six years old. That is when my mom and I had to flee from grant them lots of Barakah and Ghayr and admit them to highwell as my immediate family's inability to sustain my hemodialmany family members and friends are aware of my condition as

kidney transplant, my future looks very bleak because of my Lupus. As a result of this, my body may even reject my mom's

Numerous people suffer from end term renal failure but continue to live normal and very productive lives, many having both session which on average takes four hours and thereafter return home and continue life as if nothing happened. Essentially durspouses and children. They allocate time out for their dialysis

struggle for survival. As a single parent she fended for us, and moving from house to house was a regular occurrence as was sharing cramped accommodation with aunts and cousins. When she remarried, we managed to acquire a house of our own, but only to be left penniless once again, with a second daughter to care for, and a bonded house which needed servicing. Even health, such a step would leave us homeless and only compound this reprieve was short lived when she divorced a few years later,

Botswana back to Cape Town, and ever since, life has been a

ing a dialysis treatment, ones artery is interfaced to a dializer extracted. Technically dialysis normalizes blood electrolytes and from the serum, from which one to two liters of waste water is unit that separates red and white blood corpuscles and platelets

removed, leaves the blood in a cleaned state, equivalent to state from the blood. However as a Lupus patient my general health,

urea and creatanine left behind by muscle metabolism, but once that a normal set of kidneys would, after extracting the urea

remove several toxins and excessive fluids. This fluid contains,

though she if fully prepared to liquidate it the sake of my our existing problems further. Having said that, I would give my erless to to so. And even if I had to sacrifice all my teeth I wouldn't even be able to change my own condition. Therefore, for their assistance and In-sha-Allah with your help, duahs and finacial assistance, I would perhaps have a chance at life Allah wa 'alam. eye teeth to change her lot in life but unfortunately I am powI am asking for your help and appeal to every charitable soul

mobility, pain threshold, immune responses, and functionality blood after taking the 38 tablets that I am obliged to take daily.

fect of the combined chemical compounds remaining in my

of my internal organs is totally dependant on the chemical ef-

the Nephrologist that I do not take medication before dialysis since it reacts to the heparin which is a blood anti coagulation

ing taken my medication at all and it is even recommended by

of day I go for treatment. This however is equivalent to not hav-

washed away and extracted by the dialysis, depending what time

pounds I have in my bloodstream prior to hemodialysis are

morning, afternoon and evening and whatever chemical com-

duced functionality. This fist full of tablets are spread across

leaves my kidneys further scared resulting in even further re-

flammation in my kidneys and every bout of inflammation

Failure to do so, will cause my Lupus to flare-up resulting in in-