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Patients Life stories Wendy

Spotlight on Wendy (The Netherlands)

  • Born in 1966
  • Living with lupus
  • Speaks Dutch & English
  • Loves riding horses
  • Works in husband’s tax advisory firm  

For years and years, Wendy dealt with symptoms without an explanation. Every time she had a baby, she’d develop a rash and joint pain that lasted for months. Then, six months after her youngest child was born, Wendy’s mother suggested she see a rheumatologist. Initially, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Although she didn’t think that was accurate, Wendy convinced herself that there was nothing physically wrong with her, and that she’d always have some pain.

Ten years later, after falling from her horse, Wendy again made a trip to the doctor. She hadn’t broken anything, but was experiencing intense pain and numbness. It was at this point that she learned the ANA test she’d had a decade before showed positive results. She had lupus.

Wendy went on to find a rheumatologist she worked well with. And after she had trouble tolerating the initial treatments she was prescribed, Wendy and her doctor came up with a new plan together. Today, Wendy is still learning to adjust to a life with lupus. She’s realized that there are good days and bad days, so she knows it’s important to ask for support when she needs it. She has dedicated herself to increasing awareness and education for autoimmune diseases, and she hopes that doctors and researchers will continue to search for more treatment options.

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When you live with an autoimmune disorder like lupus, time is so important. We must make the most of now. So I’m doing my part. I hope to inspire others to make a difference for lupus patients.