Being A Man With Lupus: Dion's Story

In 2010 I was diagnosed with systemic lupus. 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 we as men feel can result in our masculinity being questioned, (how did he end up with a women' disease?) I didn’t want to be seen as weak or less than a man; because one of the biggest misconceptions about lupus is that it only affects women. When I was finally able to open up and share with my family about my diagnosis, the support I received was an eye-opening experience. I realized that there are so many people struggling the way I was and they too could be feeling like they are alone in this fight; so, it became my purpose to share as much lupus information as I possibly could. I wanted to help people have a better understanding of what lupus really is. I didn’t want to limit myself to just my community, so with some deep prayer and motivation, I decided to use something that I love, my career as a professional drummer, as a national platform to promote something that I have always been passionate about.

Before being diagnosed with lupus, I watched both my mother and grandmother deal with complications from lupus, so I have always been passionate about supporting lupus because of the impact it had on my family. I’ve seen multiple aspects of lupus; with my grandmother’s lupus going into complete remission, to my mother succumbing to her battle with lupus; however, even after watching them go through their individual battles with lupus, nothing prepared me physically, mentally, or emotionally for my own diagnosis of Lupus.

In early 2018 time frame ( shortly after my lupus surgery), I initially began wearing the #BeatLupus t-shirts first as motivation to myself and posting pictures on my social media pages as encouragement to all living with Lu