My Lupus Blisters Won’t Hold Me Back | SHAKE MY BEAUTY

Author: Barcroft TV

JOKIVA BELLARD: Lupus can take a toll out of you. It can affect you when you least expect it. I could be that girl that influences the other girls that they are beautiful. Why can’t I be that girl? JOKIVA BELLARD: My name is Jokiva Bellard.

I am 23 years old and I found that I had lupus when I was pretty young, when I was 17. JOKIVA BELLARD: In the beginning it wasn’t that bad. It was just more of just a skin rash and joint pain and then it accelerated.

JOKIVA BELLARD: My skin would peel. I would get blisters. It ended up to the point to where I couldn’t even open my eyes, I couldn’t breathe and I told my husband, I said, ‘Babe, I can’t breathe. I need to go to the hospital.’ JOKIVA BELLARD: I have it on my hands, you know, on my neck, all over my body really. When my skin really started to get affected, people started looking at me.

I even had someone call me a crack head. I am going through something that I don’t understand that I feel like the only person that could understand me is my mom. RUBYNET BELLARD: I was diagnosed at 26 years old. I define lupus as an immune disease that fights against you. It affects your body in many ways; it affects your kidneys, your lungs, your heart. It really is like the cancer against your immune system that’s what I define it as. I am finding out that I have cousins, aunts, uncles that died from this disease.

My Lupus Blisters Won’t Hold Me Back | SHAKE MY BEAUTY

JOKIVA BELLARD: Lupus takes a toll, it can take a lot out of you. Going through my first kidney failure.. I don’t want to get emotional. JOKIVA BELLARD: It brings you to appreciate life way more. Way more than you ever appreciated it. JOKIVA BELLARD: So, this was, this was actually when they diagnosed me with my second kidney failure. My face had completely flared up.

JOKIVA BELLARD: And then I ended up as you can see this was the beginning of my skin rash on my chest. HOWARD RIVERS: My first impression of Jokiva was her beauty. From her eyes, her laugh, her giggle, everything about her is just amazing. When she was first diagnosed with lupus, I was sad; I didn’t know what lupus really was at that time.

JOKIVA BELLARD: Four years of marriage, seven years of being together, I never thought that someone could become a best friend, companion, lovable person, everything I need in one. The ying to my yang, the chicken wing to my thigh. JOKIVA BELLARD: Body positivity is basically y’all loving the skin that you are in.

I get a lot of people that ask me, ‘How did you become a lupus advocate?’ and it, kind of, wasn’t hard. The only thing that I could say is be yourself. JOKIVA BELLARD: I could be a print model. I could be that girl that influences the other girls that they are beautiful. Why can’t I be that girl? Why can’t I show my rash beautifully? Why can’t I show my battle scars? HOWARD RIVERS: I love seeing Jokiva modelling and being able to prove, ‘I am still able to do it regardless of my situation.’ And she does it great. JOKIVA BELLARD: I have dealt with many negative comments online. I had one that said, ‘You should kill yourself.’ This generation, this society, this social media time, we don’t have self-love.

And that’s a problem. We are so busy putting each other down that we forget that we need to love ourselves so we could be able to love others. RUBYNET BELLARD: But I am going to fight it as long as I can and I am going to help my daughter fight it as long as I can. RUBYNET BELLARD: When we have lupus, it changes me in a better way. It made me be more kind and more patient. Lupus lives for me but I don’t live for lupus. I don’t have to hide who I am and hide my reflection.

I can say, ‘Hey society, hey world - this is me.’.

My Lupus Blisters Won’t Hold Me Back | SHAKE MY BEAUTY

JOKIVA BELLARD: Lupus can take a toll out of you. It can affect you when you least expect it. I could be that girl that influences the other girls that they are beautiful. Why can’t…

By: Barcroft TV