March 11, 2016
Liz is a champion, advocate, and lupus patient. In 2002, Liz was diagnosed with lupus when she was 16 years old. Over the past 13 years, she found ways to help others cope with lupus by becoming what she terms a “patient-centered” clinician helping people cope with rheumatic diseases. Liz is the facilitator of two Lupus LA adult support groups meeting at UCLA and in Sherman Oaks.
At the time of her diagnosis, Liz was living in New Jersey and received pediatric specialty care. She reflected on her experiences as a teen with a serious illness: “I remember offerings of camps, some support groups and other events through the hospital and their partners, but I really thought I was too cool for these activities.” It wasn’t long before Liz found her voice in advocacy. “I was always looking for fun ways to bring awareness to rheumatic diseases and therefore became connected with different organizations throughout the area.” When she moved to Los Angeles, she searched for these same opportunities, but also for support in her new community. That’s when she found Lupus LA. “Much of my experience as a clinical social worker in a medical setting has stemmed from positive and negative experiences in pediatric care.” Liz shares, “I liked that Lupus LA was raising awareness and funds for lupus, but also putting those funds to good use through patient programs, physician training programs, and other services that directly affect the patients and their families.”
Liz has utilized many of the services and materials Lupus LA supplies in both her personal education and professional work. She is a strong believer that education and information is key. “Lupus LA recognizes that and provides materials that are useful and help patients (including myself) to remain educated and feel empowered.” A sense of control and strength are important to Liz and are reflected in how she manages her own disease. She is passionate about sharing this message to help others learn how to manage their illness in better ways. We are so lucky to have someone like Liz as part of the Lupus LA family. Liz is a moving leader, a compassionate friend, and an all-around superhero.
For address information or to learn about our other support group locations, please visit us at http://lupusla.org/patient-services/support-groups/.