Corrin Stines: A Lupus Ambassador Grows Up
Corrin Stines was diagnosed with lupus at age 13 and served as the Western Suburbs Lupus Walk Ambassador at age 14. As people, we all evolve over the course of our lives. Challenges are always shaping us, but we adapt. We learn how to cope and find the support we need; and we learn how strong we really are. For 18-year-old Corrin Stines, the past four years as a lupus patient have taught her a great deal about all of these things.
Lupus is commonly diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40 and can often take many years to be properly identified. The broad age range is only one factor that can be drastically different from patient to patient. Symptoms can affect any part of the body at random – no people experience lupus the same way. Corrin was diagnosed at age 13 after four years of dead ends and seeking answers. At a time when most kids are worried about homework, summer vacations and hanging out with their friends, her family was helping her seek out the best doctors and treatments available to manage her lupus.
Because the average person has little to no knowledge about this complex disease, patients often find solace in support groups, such as the Lupus Society of Illinois (LSI). Her mom came across the organization shortly after Corrin’s diagnosis, and it has since become a constant source of support. LSI provides comprehensive support for lupus patients and their families and friends. From educational resources to health care provider information, it opens a door of understanding to those dealing with lupus, and it gives a voice to those who want to raise public awareness.
In 2013, Corrin became involved in the lupus walks to be a part of that voice. She was named the Western Suburbs Walk Ambassador and credits LSI for helping her raise awareness, as well as introducing her to others who share her struggles with lupus.
LSI, alongside her family, has offered supportive resources to help Corrin on her journey of growing up and living with lupus. And she has only changed for the better.
“Lupus has increased my self-awareness, empathy and understanding for others, as well as learning the importance of balancing school, health and social life. My goal as a team captain is to increase awareness both within my family and friends and the world around me.”
With her family always by her side, Corrin is an inspiring example of how to take the challenges life puts forth and turn them into something good. Living with lupus is never an easy journey – there’s little understanding of the disease, and patients can face many stigmas and assumptions from others.
But Corrin takes it all in stride. She stays focused on educating the public about the realities of lupus, and she’s learned how to stay positive and still live life to the fullest extent.
“I want the world to know that, although lupus is a terrible illness, it by no means hinders the patient’s ability to live a full, normal and healthy life.”
As she joins LSI to be the Western Suburbs Lupus Walk Ambassador for the second time, she portrays a message of hope and positivity: that with the right support, life can go on while living with lupus. And not just life, but a big life, full of great things.