When Diana was 15 years old, she started feeling tired and feverish. She had constant headaches and a rash on her skin that stubbornly resisted any antibiotics. As the weeks went by and the hospital visits became more frequent, her mother, Sandra, grew worried as her daughter still didn't improve.
“For two months, everything she ate would make her sick. She started losing weight, and the rash continued to spread,” says Sandra. “Then, one of the doctors in the hospital decided to run extra tests for her. A week later he told us it was lupus.”
Lupus is a long-term disease in which the immune system, which fights infections, starts attacking healthy tissue. As a result, it causes inflammation in different parts of the body, most commonly in the skin, joints and internal organs such as the kidneys and heart.
Compassion's church partner stepped in to provide Diana and her mother with the financial support they needed for her to receive her treatments and medication. Over several years, her health finally began to improve.
Then COVID-19 hit. During the pandemic, her family's already fragile financial situation took a blow when the social distancing measures impacted her mother's small business sales. As an immuno-compromised person, it was too risky for Diana to attend school, and she had to stay at home. Diana grew increasingly lonely, isolated and depressed.
Staff from her center had been in constant contact with Diana and Sandra, and they reminded the family continually that they were not alone.
“They have never stopped helping us. They call us to make sure we’re okay. They have provided us with food packages after the pandemic started, and they have never stopped praying for us,” says Sandra.
For Diana, these months of isolation have been months full of introspection. Now, she has a new perspective of life, along with renewed strength and hopes. At home, she has developed into a more confident young woman, no longer discouraged by her illness.
I want to be able to stand on my own two feet. I want to do what other people do, too. I know I can do it, and despite not being able to run, I know my imagination can take me farther than I could ever imagine,” says Diana, “and I trust that the Lord will be with me throughout it all.”