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Support Group Helps Those With Lupus

Dana Donnelly was 29 and working as a nurse three years ago when she was diagnosed with lupus, a little-known disease.

“It was hard to cope with at first,” said the Garden Grove resident, who has had inflamed lungs, memory loss and hip problems.

“It was a loss. I was not the same person I was before. I couldn’t do the same things.”

Donnelly said her situation has been eased by the Orange County Lupus Support Group, which will hold its next meeting April 20 at Anaheim Memorial Hospital.

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The group offers people with lupus and their families a chance to meet and talk about how they cope with the disease.

Guest speakers share the latest medical data and give information on other support services.

“It gave me back my self-esteem,” Donnelly said. “The group gives me a chance to verbalize my feelings and meet people who are dealing with the same things I am.”

Lupus has many different symptoms, from rashes and joint pains to kidney disease.

The condition affects people of all ages, but women in their child-bearing years are especially susceptible, Donnelly said.

The topic of the April 20 meeting will be how families deal with lupus.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the hospital, 1211 W. La Palma Ave., Anaheim.

In May, the group plans to have an attorney discuss how those with lupus can receive Social Security benefits.

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For more information, call the Arthritis Foundation’s Orange County branch at (714) 668-1623.


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