Tulsa girl and her mother use her fight with Lupus to educate Green Country

Posted at 10:12 PM, May 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-10 23:26:05-04

TULSA - It's a dangerous disease impacting hundreds right here in Green Country, a Tulsa teenager sharing her battle with hopes to shed light on the fight.

In times like these Destini and her mother Kecia have to take things slow. 

Not day by day, but moment by moment, step by step. 

 "The first thing to do is pray, pray always, I always say that," said 17-year-old Destini Richard.

Less than a year ago after months of confusion and pain a doctor diagnosed her with Lupus.

"Sick to your stomach because you know that's a life-change for your child," said her mother Kecia Dejear.

Destini and her mother didn't know what it meant or what to do.

"The first thing I did was research, research, research." 

It was hard to find people who could relate, The Oklahoma Lupus Foundation said they hear that far too often. 

 "Really one of the most less known diseases that cause more damage than some of the others," said Rick Myers of the Oklahoma Lupus Foundation. 

 "It's very severe. The Lupus is affecting four of her organs," Kecia said. 

A bad flare-up sent Destini to the emergency room. 

"I can't tell you about anything that happened before March 31st," said Destini. 

She was out cold for days. 

"Sitting by the bedside was the worst." 

But they didn't sit for long.

She re-learned how to walk, then hit the ground running. 

"I just want to share my story with everybody so I can encourage others."

To combat the lack of support in Tulsa they shifted focus to building awareness. 

Wednesday the city council made official a proclamation declaring May 10 World Lupus Day in Tulsa.

 "I believe God is using me to help others with Lupus."

Now, they're making sure no one else has to work their own journey alone. 

Find information on the Oklahoma Lupus Foundation here

And Destini and her mother's efforts here.

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