chronic illness

This Sunday, Sept 7th-> "The Purple Party" (and my performance) For Lupus! by Shanelle Gabriel

Hello friends, 

Please join me as I perform and celebrate the birthday of Christine Miserandino (long time Lupus advocate and creator of the "Spoon Theory") THIS Sunday, Sept 7th @ Pompei from 6:30-10:30pm for her annual 

"Purple Party for Lupus"

Place: Pompei Restaurant, 401 Hempstead Avenue West Hempstead, NY 11552
Event/ Ticket includes: 
● DJ & Dancing courtesy of Party Perfect NYC 
● Appetizers, salad, pasta 
● Choice of dinner 
● **Unlimited Beer~Wine ~Soda 
● Specialty Desserts and cake 
● Raffles, 50/50, Silent Auctions 
● **Swag Bags for every attendee worth MORE than the ticket! (last year’s bags were worth double the ticket price.) 

All for only $75!!

Wear Something Purple!!!!

All proceeds go to the But You Don't Look Sick Foundation, dedicated to helping those living with Lupus (like myself!) 


My Interview with HuffPost Live & Dr. Marc Lamont Hill by Shanelle Gabriel

I was blessed to be a guest on Dr. Marc Lamont Hill's show on HuffPost Live to discuss Lupus alongside

* Sarah Stothers (RN & Health Educator for the Lupus Foundation of America; National Nurse Health Educator)

* Imani Perry (Professor at the Princeton Center for African American Studies; Diagnosed With Lupus)

It was a great discussion with a lot of great points on the need for awareness and what the battle against Lupus looks like. Check it out!


Footage from the 2014 World Lupus Day Flash Mob by Shanelle Gabriel

Myself and the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation's Young Leaders took Lupus Research to the Power of 10 in recognition of World Lupus Awareness Day May 10. A Flash Mob of volunteer dancers brought attention to lupus among hundreds of visitors to Union Square Park in Manhattan. Here's the video!!

Life & Lupus: The Dreamkiller by Shanelle Gabriel

Someone once told me that living through your twenties is all about losing the fantasies of your teens. As you add more years to your life, it can feel like you're adding more reasons to be pessimistic. Being diagnosed with Lupus the year before I could drink legally meant I started losing those teen fantasies a little early. At nineteen, it seemed like I had a hundred mountains I wanted to climb, seven seas to swim, and a encyclopedia of a to-do-list I planned on attacking prior to dealing with this autoimmune disease. Reality has a way of settling in when it hurts to keep up in your college Hip-Hop dance team and when your mom suggests you take a semester off to "rest a bit." Granted, I wasn't about to sit in the house for the rest of 2005 so I went back to school, but the craziest thoughts cross your mind during silent painful walks from class to your dorm room. 


"Why am I even here? Am I fooling myself for having goals and plans for my life knowing my body will fight my mind for control every step of the way? Who am I if I can't accomplish these dreams I've had all my life?" 


I never shared these thoughts with anyone because I knew I'd get those Reading Rainbow responses: "You can be anything you want to be, if you just believe." (*Struggles not to throw up.*) We're adults now, and we know that we cannot fly two times higher than butterflies, especially with that butterfly rash on our faces. Many of us got our realities handed to us along with test results and had to grow up pretty early. 


It helps to realize that this painful end to optimism doesn't just hit those of us with chronic illnesses. As many of my friends are entering their late twenties and crossing the ("dun-dun-dun") thirties, they're asking themselves the same questions we are. I'm not the famous singer I thought I'd be when I was 16. I'm not the radio announcer/ A&R / wife & mother of 3/ homeowner / CEO of a non-profit that I swore I'd be when I was 22. My present life is nothing like I planned, and that is in part due to dealing with this illness and part in realizing that you can't put a timeline on certain things. 


Having Lupus with its unpredictable flares and remissions makes planning for life hard. Shoot, life makes planning for life hard. Depression can come from the way an illness and struggle can seem to kill dreams. I've learned one way to overcome it: FIND A NEW DREAM. I may not be the the mother and wife I planned on being at my age, but I'm consistently working towards my new goal of being an amazing aunt and an inspiration to my nieces and nephews. My friend Judith Mills may not be the track star she was on the path to be before her diagnosis but it lead her to become a biology teacher and founder of an organization working to provide Lupus medication to countries in Africa. Your illness may have stopped you from being a lead dancer at Alvin Ailey but maybe this will lead you to a new dream of running a non-profit that provides ballet shoes to under-funded arts programs. 


They say when there's a closed door, God opens a window. I know it isn't easy to step away from the door you've been walking to all your life, but that window may lead you to a grander purpose then the original path you were on. The same way you surprise yourself with your ability to deal with everything your illness throws your way, you'll be surprised at the skills you have that you didn't even know you possess. Aim to focus less on what you can't do and more on what you can. Find the hidden passions within you, and maybe your new dream can become a reality.

The Official Rules of Dating While "Dating" Your Chronic Illness by Shanelle Gabriel

With doctor visits, prescription pick-ups, bed rest, and flares, who has time for dating??? While the idea of "searching for the one" seems to have been replaced by searching for the right rheumatologist or specialist, you and I both know that there's a part of us that would like a special someone in our lives. But how do we date when we seem to have baggage from our relationship with our chronic illness?
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FREE ZUMBA GOLD Fitness Class for People with Chronic Illnesses by Shanelle Gabriel

Come join the SLE Lupus Foundation along with instructor, Dayle Patrick, certified Zumba Gold instructor for a free class on Thursday, November 15th @ 7pm. Zumba Gold is a modified version of Zumba reserved for older participants and people with limited mobility... It’s perfect for those with chronic illnesses! RSVP NOW to guarantee your spot!
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