Posted on Wednesday 28 September 2016
A singer in the 90s pop band Eternal, Kelle Bryan-Gudgeon, is set to share her story about the challenges of living with lupus at an awareness event on Thursday 6 October, 12 noon to 2pm in Central Hall at St Thomas' Hospital.
Kelle, 41, was first diagnosed with lupus in 1998 and is now under the care of rheumatologist, Professor David D'Cruz, at the Louise Coote Lupus Unit, Guy's Hospital.
Lupus is a complex and poorly understood condition that affects many parts of the body and causes symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening. Around 15,000 people in England and Wales have a severe form of the condition.
Kelle says: "Days before I was due to start recording my first album, I woke up and couldn't bend my right index finger.”
Kelle soon developed mouth ulcers, a skin infection on her face and arms that would not heal and painful symptoms of arthritis that severely reduced her ability to move around. Eventually Kelle was diagnosed with lupus by Professor D'Cruz.
Kelle, who recently had pneumonia following another bout of the condition, is keen to encourage research into the disease in the hope of finding a cure.
She says: "So few people know about lupus. My advice is to stay positive, don't give up and get the right help. I am determined not to let lupus rule my life."
Professor David D’Cruz says: “Although lupus can be a serious disease, especially if there is a major organ involved, early diagnosis and effective treatments have radically improved the outlook for patients. Like Kelle, with medical advice, support and a positive mental attitude, some patients are able to live fairly normal lives."
Kelle, who is patron of St Thomas' Lupus Trust, will be joined by former Eastenders actor Ricky Norwood and Dr Sara Kayat (Channel 5’s GPs: Behind Closed Doors) at St Thomas’ Hospital on 6 October for the lupus awareness event.
For more information about lupus visit www.lupus.org.uk.