I didn’t have time to be a moody, sullen or ungrateful teenager. I had skipped that station. I was fast-tracked to a place where having perspective and wisdom were needed if I was to join this army of chemical warfare and be at peace with the uncontrollable changes that had happened to me …       I was lucky because for the first time since I had become unwell, I was able to take medication that was trying to save my life. I didn’t want to let my army down. And so, my new life as a Lupus Warrior had truly begun.”

In 1989, inexplicably, Rachel Lea went from being a quiet but energetic, conscientious and healthy fourteen-year-old girl to being incapacitated, bedridden and with severe chronic joint and muscle pains. Suffering from a mysterious, debilitating disease, her struggle to find solutions to her ailment was fraught with distress, misdiagnoses and experimental treatments. 

Rachel chronicles her journey from the first appearance of symptoms to a confirmed lupus diagnosis, as well as her ability to adjust to life with an incurable, chronic disease as a teenager. With the loving support system of family that lifted her up, Rachel found hope and perspective in achieving her dream of becoming a secondary school teacher. Lupus = Lift Up, Persevere and Use Strength is a raw, moving and uplifting memoir – essential reading for Lupus Warriors, members of their support systems and for those who want to learn more about lupus and a Lupus Warrior’s fortitude in living life with courage, always trying to find the silver lining.