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

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 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. 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.’

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