World Lupus Day

In honor of World Lupus Day, Independence Now proudly reiterates our support for people of ALL disabilities, including disabling autoimmune diseases like #Lupus, and our commitment to help #MakeLupusVisible.

We’re grateful to Carol Cordova and Abiola Heyliger, two Independence Now staff members who #LiveWithLupus, for sharing their knowledge and experiences while coping with this disease.

To learn more about Lupus, visit

Hear Carol Cordova, Supports Planner for Independence Now, share her experience #LivingWithLupus

Thank you to Abiola Heyliger, Independence Now's Independent Living Specialist for Montgomery County who #LivesWithLupus, for creating this slideshow.

Slideshow Transcript:

May 10, 2021. Make Lupus Visible. World Lupus Day.

In honor of World Lupus Day, Independence Now proudly reiterates our support for people of ALL disabilities, including disabling autoimmune diseases like #Lupus, and our commitment to help Make Lupus Visible. Independence Now advocates for, embody & encourage independence and equality for all people with all disabilities.


Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. While anyone can be diagnose with lupus, 90% of people with the disease are women. Lupus symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening and should be treated by a doctor. Women of color are 2 to 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with lupus and have worse symptoms. On average it takes nearly 6 years for people with lupus to be diagnosed.

  • Approximately 5 million people worldwide suffer from Lupus, including the estimated 1.5 million people in the United States with Lupus.
  • 90% of people with Lupus are WOMEN.
  • There is no cure for Lupus. But a rheumatologist can recommend several effective treatments available to help manage Lupus symptoms.

Types of Lupus

When people talk about lupus, they’re usually talking about systemic lupus. But there are four kinds of lupus:

Celebrities with #lupus or links to lupus

Michael Jackson: From “There seems to be much evidence that Michael Jackson suffered from Lupus. There have been many reports of him suffering from the disease since the mid 80s. In 2003, he attended a Lupus LA fundraiser. In October 2007, “sources close to the pop star” told Fox news that he had Lupus. After Michael’s death, spiritual teacher and medical doctor Deepak Chopra told People Magazine that his longtime friend Michael Jackson suffered from Lupus for many years.

Destiny’s Child: The singing group’s original manager, Andretta Tillman, died of Lupus in 1997 and Beyonce’s father, Matthew Knowles took over.

Paula Abdul: Dancer, choreographer, singer and reality competition show judge Paula Abdul has been one of the most active celebrities in the lupus community. Abdul credits her doctor with keeping her disease manageable but has also talked about living with pain. The joint and muscle aches of lupus can be confused with or accompanied by rheumatoid arthritis. With almost 2.5 million Twitter followers, Abdul has used social media to spread the word about lupus and is often found on the red carpet at lupus events.

Snoop Dogg has credited his daughter Cori’s battle with lupus with bringing the rapper closer to his wife Shante, insisting the life-threatening illness helped to save their faltering marriage. Snoop admits the turning point in their relationship came when young Cori was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder in 2005 – and her subsequent health battle made the hip-hop star and his wife realize they had to stay “together forever”.  But he’s in awe of how strong Cori, now 11, has been throughout the health crisis – despite struggling with the side effects lupus, which caused her hair to fall out and affected her weight. Snoop explains, “My daughter is the love of my life. When she’d lay in bed saying, ‘My brain hurts’, it bothered me so much. I felt helpless… (But) she’s the toughest little thing I’ve ever met, even with the needles.”

Want to learn more about Lupus for #WorldLupusDay? Click this link to take the #KnowLupus quiz:

Know someone with disabilities in Maryland who needs support to achieve their independent living, study, or work goals? Contact us!

12301 Old Columbia Pike, Suite 101, Silver Spring, MD 20904
Tel: (301) 277-2839 | Fax: (301) 625-9777

World Lupus Day
Scroll to top