Community Health Leaders
Last updated: May 2023
In order to stay up to date on latest treatments, drug discovery, clinical studies and how to cope with blood cancer every day, Lupus.net brings you frequent articles, points of view and advice from health leaders and experts.
Current health leaders
Donica Liu Baker, MD, FACR
Donica Liu Baker, MD, FACR is a board-certified rheumatologist practicing the art of medicine in her beloved hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. With roots in the field of Kinesiology, she developed an early passion for helping patients improve their mobility, which evolved into an interest in arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Read more.
Charlotte is 41 years old and is from England. She first started experiencing health problems at the age of 21 when she developed a condition called Pernicious Anemia - a condition where the body cannot absorb vitamin b12. After receiving treatment for this her health returned back to normal and she continued working full time at her job in the travel industry which at the time was her passion. Read more.
Meghan Bea has lived with lupus for over a decade and is still learning about her disease. She began writing as part of her rehabilitation from a severe brain flare in 2014 and simply never stopped. Read more.
Hello, My name is Jokiva Bellard also known as indianrosee. I was diagnosed with systematic lupus at the age of seventeen and ever since it has been a hard walking journey. I chose to become an advocate after realizing their were people just like me. Read more.
Cay Bermingham is a married, mother of 6, a registered nurse, and a lupus warrior. She was diagnosed at 42 after first seeing symptoms at age 15. The transition from provider to the patient was bumpy but she and her family have found their way forward with love, humor, honesty, and faith. Read more.
Amber Blackburn, RN
Amber Blackburn is a Registered Nurse turned blogger and patient advocate for those with chronic illnesses. She was forced to leave the workforce after ten years as a nurse; this gave her the patient medical experience and perspective. Being diagnosed and living with a chronic illness has given her the experience of everyday living so she understands both sides of the coin. Read more.
Gabrielle Davis is a former news journalist, turned lupus and patient advocate who uses her experience of living with lupus, chronic illness and an invisible disease to candidly spread awareness, particularly among underserved, minority communities. Read more.
Racquel H. Dozier was diagnosed officially with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in 2004, but the onset of the disease started in 2002 when she was given a firm diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. At the prime of her life, Racquel and her family had recently relocated to a new state with a young child, just enjoying life to the fullest. But something just wasn't right. Read more.
Rosadela has been living with lupus since 2007 and throughout her ups and downs she has experienced heartbreak, loss, shame, humility, and most importantly, self-awareness.
Tanya is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, who has spent more than a decade educating people on the power they have over their health through diet and lifestyle choices. Read more.
Emmitt Henderson III was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus and Lupus Nephritis in 1995 but had symptoms going back to 1980. He has never heard of Lupus till he was told he had it. He couldn’t even look it up because internet search engines weren’t around in 1995. Read more.
At the age of 5 I started losing my hair, which was just the beginning. Shortly after my joints began to hurt, aches turned into arthritis. Then swelling causing bell’s palsy, which was pretty traumatic for a teenager. Raynaud’s came around during the cold, then expanded to year-round. Read more.
Lupus has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Even before I was diagnosed, I was advocating for lupus in honor of my mother. She gave up her voice and I wanted to make sure that no one else would go through the same thing. So, when I was diagnosed it wasn't, "why me?" it was, "try me!" Read more.
After years of unexplained pain and illness, Ava Meena was diagnosed with systemic lupus in 2017. She is a passionate advocate, blogger, and freelance writer. Her goal is to create relatable and encouraging content for others living with lupus. Read more.
J. Christopher Reed is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Georgia State University and a law degree from Tulane University. He served as a clerk to the Honorable Brenda Hill Cole, State Court of Fulton County, and Clerk of Court for the Magistrate Court of Rockdale County for a total of ten years. Read more.
Hi! I’m Geri and I was diagnosed with lupus nephritis in July of 2017 at the age of 27. I began experiencing several symptoms but the first being joint pain. I equated that with getting older but soon my symptoms got worse. I soon had shortness of breath, sharp pains in my chest, edema and my labs were all over the place. Read more.
Former health leaders
Mary Blackburn is a certified pharmacy technician. She spent the majority of her career working in her community at her local pharmacy. She has two daughters, Caitlyn and Amber. Amber was diagnosed with Lupus eight years ago. Read more.
Sheryl comes from the sunny island of Singapore, and lives with a multitude of chronic illnesses. She first got diagnosed with Antiphospholipid Syndrome - a blood clotting disorder - after experiencing a mild stroke at 14. She developed multiple DVTs and a near deadly clot in the lung at 17, where she fought for her life in the hospital for two months. Read more.
Eric was 10 years old when his mother was diagnosed with Lupus. During that time, his mother was a single parent to three children—Eric was the oldest. At the time of his mother’s diagnosis, there was a lot of confusion. Read more.
Chandra Jo Crosby
Chandra was diagnosed with Systemic lupus erythematosus on her 8th birthday after months of hospitalization and misdiagnosis. At the time of her diagnosis, her symptoms were so severe she was wheelchair bound and extremely malnourished. Read more.
Negin Dadkhah is a Lupus warrior living a passionate life despite her stage 4 Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). She was diagnosed when she was 15 and had just started high school in her hometown of Tehran, Iran. Today, despite keeping flare-ups in check, she lives a normal life as an architect with her husband in Philadelphia. Read more.
Hi, my name is Alli. I was diagnosed with systemic lupus in December 2020 at the age of 30. Although my diagnosis is recent I have been experiencing symptoms of lupus for over 10 years. Read more.
In 2010 I was diagnosed with Systematic Lupus and for 3 years I struggled with having it and didn’t share it with anyone: I wasn’t mentally prepared to face any of the things that came with having lupus. I didn’t want to be seen as weak or less of a man; because one of the biggest misconceptions about lupus is that it’s a woman’s disease. Read more.
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