THE 8TH ANNUAL FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES
Butterflies of Hope Warrior Stories
Flight of the Butterflies, Butterflies of Hope Warrior Stories is a lupus awareness campaign sharing stories of the brave lupus warriors. Many don’t understand lupus until they hear the walk of a warrior. Flight of the Butterflies, Butterflies of Hope Warrior Stories is dedicated to sharing those stories in May for lupus awareness month.
Flight of the Butterfly Emmitt Henderson III
My name is Emmitt Henderson III, I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus back in 1995, however, my symptoms of Discoid Lupus took a toll on my skin when I was a young boy at the age of 10. Back then it was not diagnosed as Lupus but treated as a skin disease. For a year, I had skin rashes and blemishes all over my upper body that ended up going away. I thought I was cured.
15 years later, I had joint pains in my knees, wrist, and shoulders that I could not explain. They were so bad I went to the emergency room a few times just for them to send me home saying they cannot find anything wrong. Keep in mind all they did was X-rays at that time.
Pain settled all over my body while maintaining my full time job as a service manager at an auto shop. Despite my pain, I pushed through and went to work every day. One day at work, my pain was so bad that the owner of the company noticed it and wanted me to go to urgent care to get checked. I fought him, but he’s the owner, so I went. From urgent care after 8 hours, the doctors told me they needed to send me to the hospital for further diagnosis. 19 days later in the hospital, I was told “You have Lupus” my first reply was, “what is Lupus”
Since that time, I went through major complications in my life because of Lupus. It has affected every major organ in my body and most current, my brain. Some of the most notable procedures included a Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant to slow my Lupus activity down, Kidney Transplant, Right Knee replacement, Left Shoulder replacement, Gall Bladder removed, Interstitial Lung disease, and Encephalopathy in my brain. I also had to deal with Ulcers in my throat and esophagus that I had to eat from a feeding tube for 2 weeks, I went through chemotherapy and radiation therapy for over a year, Peritoneal dialysis over a year, Cardiomyopathy that caused heart failure, I was put in a clinically induced coma then rehab to walk, talk and use my limbs again, Over a long period of time I suffered from gout and shingles as well.
Going through all that, made me the Warrior I am today. I created my brand Male Lupus Warriors because that is exactly what I am. During my journey I haven’t found too many men speaking out on Lupus so I decided to be the Voice. Because of it, I was honored to be in magazine articles on health and wellness, Live news appearances about Lupus, I was given speaking events from the Lupus Foundation of America Socal, I was honored an award for Lupus Advocacy and featured on radio talk shows.
I’m also Vice President to a nonprofit organization founded by my partner called Hugs and Bags. We provide food, clothing, toiletries and we do haircuts for our community Free of charge. Since Covid-19, we provided over 3,500 meals to those in need. Doing this, brings Joy to my Heart as well as keeping my attention off of whatever Lupus brings me.
My goal for Male Lupus Warriors is to educate, inspire and spread awareness on Lupus. It’s also to encourage the fellas to speak out on their illnesses and come together to help others. I speak on Lupus and Mental Health in hope to encourage people to not be a victim to their illness.
Lupus In Color is excited to present Emmitt Henderson III’s story to the world. As a Lupus Warrior she is actively promoting lupus awareness and wearing the armor of strength in doing so.
Lupus In Color Salutes you Emmitt Henderson III.
YOU ARE BRAVE, COURAGEOUS, AMAZING and STRONG TO SHARE YOUR STORY. YOUR BUTTERFLY WINGS ARE FLUTTERING, YOUR CHIN IS UP, YOUR ARMS ARE EXTENDED AND YOUR CHEST IS OUT! FLY ON BUTTERFLY! FLY ON!
PLEASE SHARE Emmitt Henderson III’s FLIGHT ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES AND START HER BUTTERFLY JOURNEY SPREADING LUPUS AWARENESS!