Fearless Queen Tanayah Flores is so inspirational. She has been fighting a continuous battle with Lupus for a majority of her life but still finds hope by inspiring others. Here is her story...
My name Tanayah Flores. I was born and raised in New Jersey. I graduated from Ramapo college with a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts and a concentration in Education at the age of 20. My hobbies include anything artistic. I paint, draw, sculpt, act , model , sew. I am the youngest girl of six siblings with a very loving mother and father.
I had a pretty normal 21 years of life. Currently I am 23 years young and I am a lupus warrior.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks normal, healthy tissue. My symptoms include inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs. Lupus is genetic. My family has a history of lupus, both on my mother side and father's side. I started having symptoms when I was 14 years old. My knees and feet would swell so bad to the point where I couldn't walk. I didn't think too much of it at the time because I was into sports and modeling.
The moment that triggered my mind into thinking that this was something much more was when I was becoming a lady of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated in college. Lupus symptoms are mostly brought on by stress and climate. The process I went through for Zeta was very stressful and at the time I was not athletic. I began getting burning rashes across my face and hives covering the front of thighs and forearms everyday. I was aware that I may have had lupus because my first cousin on my dads side was diagnosed when I began having Symptoms at 14, she was 18. My mom would encourage me to go get tested and I would tell her I went and was cleared but it was all lies. I honestly didn't want to face it. I always put it to the far back of my mind and tried everything I could to not feel the pain or notice my skin flaring. Applying makeup to my skin became a huge way of hiding it.
Spring of 2014 my mother came home from one of her many doctors visits due to the severe complications she was having with her body. I have lupus she says and my heart drops. I knew at that moment exactly that it was no more running from it. We talked for hours and I finally confessed I never went to go get tested.
She urged that I should get tested while staring into my flared face. I promised her I would if she would come with me. Of course the test results came back NOT in my favor.
Systemic lupus erythematosus also know as lupus. I was truly devastated. Doctor visit after doctor visit. Hospital ER rooms like clock work. Breathing treatments. Blood work. More tests. It was very emotional because people can't see what you feel so they automatically think you're okay. On the inside it's Hell . Changing my lifestyle. Eating different, meats became a huge trigger to flares. I had to stop partying as much, drinking, modeling, couldn't even paint or draw like I loved to.
It was so exhausting. My boyfriend at the time was not supportive and eventually told me he didn't want to be with me because of my lupus. I became the most angriest person ever. Over and over I asked myself why would God do this to me. I have been nothing but a good person. I graduated high school at 15 with a 4.0 GPA I had my own car. I always had a job. I graduated college with a Bachelors degree at age 20. I was a great faithful girlfriend. A loving and caring daughter why me ???
It took a lot of time to heal. And I'm not even fully there yet. I gained so much support from my friends and family but just letting everything out. Telling people how I felt. My mom and I grew closer because it's one thing to talk to someone about your pain but it's another thing for that person to know the pain.
I also gained my lover and best friend. He was always a friend but when the devastating news came he showed how much he cared. He has never missed a doctors appointment, makes sure I take my medicine. He is the one who's up with me at 4am with the flares and the tears. This is not an easy journey but it has gotten so much better which makes me feel so much hope. I don't need to apply make up when I flare anymore. Instead I post it on social media.
I like sharing my story because I was once so discouraged that people wouldn't love me for me. But! this is me. I'm a lupus warrior and now I know GODS plan. God gave me this battle because he knew I would be strong enough to handle it and that it would make me a better person. Everyday is a fight, and everyday I'm a step closer to taking back control of my life. -Tanayah
Thank you Tanayah for sharing your amazing story and journey. You are truly an inspiration!!
Please continue to be FEARLESS, it's already in you!
Follow Tanayah's journey by following her on Instagram at @say_nay