Circle of love

Published 4:29 pm Friday, June 9, 2023

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News Correspondent

JACKSON – Umbrellas among the crowd showed that a little rain never hurt anyone, which was the case at the Walk for Lupus 2023 event held here May 27.

This showed how important it was to the people that came to support this cause at the Cultural and Wellness Center in Jackson. The show must go on to educate and make people aware of this auto-immune disease. It occurs when your body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs, according to Jasman Peele, a lupus survivor who lives in Conway.

Peele has had lupus since giving birth to her precious son in 2015. She was admitted to the hospital in Roanoke Rapids where numerous tests were performed to the point where no one had a clue as to what was going on. She was transported to Wake-Med in Raleigh where the exact same tests were performed leading to a diagnosis of lupus.

Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems, including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.

Peele and others came to support each other and anyone else with this dreaded disease.

“To all my family and friends, I really truly thank you for always standing by my side during the good and bad within this fight I face,” Peele said. “My fight is your fight. Continue to fight with me.”

After welcoming comments and heads bowed in prayer, the event got underway with the Praise Team Tribute “Better Days are Coming” that was beautifully executed by Heavenly Expressions of St John 2nd Baptist Church of Ahoskie. Next, was a rousing performance by the Cheer Team, NCHS Cheerleaders.

Heavenly Expressions of St John 2nd Baptist Church of Ahoskie entertained the crowd with praise dancing at the Lupus Walk. Photo by Betty F. Jones

Following was a Cheer Dance “Champion in Motion” gracefully carried out by Roanoke Rapids Star Team.

Afterwards, the Lupus Circle of Love and pinning ceremony was held. Special words of encouragement were delivered by Peele. After she spoke there was an open mic for those with lupus to share testimonies or anyone else who wished to speak.

Next on the agenda was the line up for the lupus walk around the track. The walk consisted of four laps, making it a one-mile trek.

Shopping and good food were enjoyed by everyone at the various venders and food trucks. Children of all ages were entertained by pony rides, face painting and a bouncy house.

Throughout the day, several dances among those attending were the result of awesome music provided by DJ, David Ashe of Ahoskie.

Even though lupus is a terrible disease, these wonderful people showed that life can still go on and be enjoyed at such a solemn event.