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Patients Life stories Aurore May

Spotlight on Aurore Mary (Belgium)

  • Born in 1982
  • Living with lupus
  • Speaks French, Flemish, and English
  • Former military veteran
  • Enjoys spending time with her family.

If Aurore were to give her life story a name, it would be My Body Makes War.

Since she was six years old, Aurore has been fighting with the inappropriate manifestations of lupus in her body. Sometimes, those fights took place in a hospital, as they did for the 10 years she spent going from doctor to doctor in search of a diagnosis. Sometimes, those fights were with her family, who she felt were trying to control her, for fear her illness would seriously harm her. And sometimes, those fights were just with herself, as she dealt with what she calls the ‘patient loneliness’ that came with doubts and fears caused by her symptoms.

But throughout this war her body has made, Aurore continued to live her life in defiance of anything trying to hold her back.

She joined the military at 20, left a violent marriage, got remarried, and eventually got a diagnosis of lupus. And while having a diagnosis was in a way a relief, it unfortunately did not end her battles.

The treatments she has tried do not stop her symptoms, which at times have made her life incredibly difficult. She had to take so many treatments as precaution for her second child’s birth, she felt like a prisoner in her own body. Even after her son was born, she still had to deal with the frantic energy, the ‘black outs’ when her energy was completely drained, and the weight gain caused by her treatments.

Today, Aurore has hope that one day she can find better treatments that offer more of a long term solution. But until that day comes, Aurore takes each small battle as it comes. She controls what she can and does not dwell on the things she can’t. Instead, she tries to enjoy the life she has with her family and is thankful for the healthcare allies beside her.

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To get through each day, I remind myself of the good things, and I always try to set little goals for myself. My body makes war but I will not give up fighting.

Aurore Mary