Lupus Survivor/Board Member for Lupus LA
Bridget Hood was diagnosed with lupus in 1987 at the young age of 17. While all of her friends looked forward to graduating high school and a future of possibility, she was forced to face her own mortality.
Like so many lupus patients, her kidneys were being attacked by her own immune system. She spent most of my late teens and twenties in and out of the hospital where she endured 3 years and 39 treatments of chemo-therapy, over 20 surgeries/procedures (including bilateral hip replacements/revisions), high dose steroid therapy and countless medications (which at times were 30+ pills a day).
By the age of 19, she was critically ill and clinging to life. She nearly died (more than once) and if it wasn’t for the grace of God, her will to live and her parent’s unwavering determination to find her better medical care, she would have never seen her 20th birthday. It was during this very difficult time that she made a decision that she was going to fight to get better so that she could someday share her story to help others who are suffering from this very serious illness; she made this her reason for being sick. She looked at it as a “calling” because she had no one to look up to when she was so ill. No one really knew what lupus was and there was no internet where she could connect with other patients or look up information about her diagnosis. She felt so scared, alone and was filled with anxiety and depression. She often couldn’t even see how her health was going to improve but she had a willingness to believe that it was possible.
Because of the devastating effects of lupus, she went into kidney failure in 2005. Life works in mysterious ways because what she thought would be her biggest nightmare ended up being her biggest miracle! January 27, 2006 is now her second Birthday! Her amazing Brother, Nick (My Hero), donated one of his kidneys to not only save her life but to give her the quality of life that she once could only dream about! Because of Nick’s selfless gift of life, she now has the energy and stamina to fulfill her goals and dreams of helping other patient’s who are struggling with this disease.
Over the past 5 years, she has been advocating in Washington DC, speaking publicly about her story, co-facilitating a support group in Irvine and also working as a lupus patient Ambassador where she’s been featured in a couple of national ad campaigns. She’s also beyond excited to share that she was recently appointed to the Board of Lupus LA, which was founded by Daniel Wallace (her doctor and the man who saved my life) in 2000. She is so grateful to be alive and to share her story and help others who are suffering from this disease.