Elaine Holland (Stockport)
|Hi. I’m Elaine Holland and I am the Chair, Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, Website Manager and a Contact for the North West Lupus Group. I have been serving on the committee since 2010, becoming Treasurer in 2011 and Chair in 2013. I am originally from Darwen, near Blackburn but now I live in Stockport.
I was diagnosed with Lupus in 1998, one year after graduating from University with a computing degree. I spent quite a while in denial and it was only when I had a major flare in April 2000 that I realised I could no longer live my life like I did as a student. I had qualified as an IT and Business Studies teacher in 1999 and was working full time at that time. However, I realised that, for me, having Lupus and teaching were not going to go together. I changed my job to computer support in the NHS in Newcastle. Around this time, I became a member of the North East Lupus Group’s committee.
I moved back to the North West in 2005 and almost straight away started planning my wedding. Five months before I was to get married, my hair started to fall out. I was not going to let Lupus ruin my big day, so I bought a real hair wig and my friend did an amazing job styling it for me. In 2008, I found out that I had developed Lupus Nephritis and needed treatment with Rituximab. Since then, my Lupus has been quite stable.
In 2010, I felt that it was time for me to get involved with Lupus UK again. After attending the annual Information Day and AGM, I approached Val Wilson to see if there was anything I could do to help and she roped me on to the committee. My first project was to set up our Facebook group. I then gradually took on more roles!
Over the years, the information I have been able to get through Lupus UK has been immense. The support that it provides is invaluable. I have always been a people person, so having this opportunity to help people who have been affected by Lupus has been a natural progression. I really enjoy the work that I do for Lupus UK. It has given the opportunity to meet and help many people, which in turn has helped me to live with my Lupus.