At eleven years old, with a family predisposition to rheumatic illnesses and a bleeding disorder as a child, Kelli contracted Epstein Barr Virus. By the age of 12, she had been hospitalized a half dozen times with what the doctors believed was juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. She was wheelchair bound, and the disease was spreading. She was given every medication available to stop the avalanche of symptoms. Additional lab tests revealed that she had systemic lupus, and more medications followed.
Over the 27 years of living with lupus, Kelli has suffered from multiple organ involvement, blood issues and muscular-skeletal complications, and has been hospitalized dozens of times.
Despite her health circumstances, she remains joyful because she knows her pain is temporary. Her faith and desire to help others inspires her daily, even during her worst health days.