Family Learns Lupus Can Be Managed

The diagnosis was devastating, and Bobbie and Steve Clark were taking turns.

One would stay in the hospital room, showing a strong face for their daughter Tessa, while the other took to the hallway to safely shed their tears.

tessaclark“I was praying it wasn’t going to be lupus,” said Bobbie Clark, Tessa’s mother. “We know it could have been worse, but a 12-year-old — you don’t want to think she’s got a lifetime disease that can get worse or become fatal at any time.”

But the scary, uncontrollable systemic lupus erythematosus that they read about on the internet isn’t always the disease experienced by patients. After speaking with David Siegel, M.D., M.P.H., chief of the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital, they learned that there was a chance that Tessa could go back to living a normal life — if her condition responded to treatment.

The Clarks hoped that Tessa would respond.

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