Tue | Jan 31, 2023

Couple tackling lupus with NHF’s help

Published:Wednesday | October 26, 2022 | 12:06 AM
Maurice Campbell
Maurice Campbell
Nicole Davis-Campbell
Nicole Davis-Campbell
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Nicole Davis-Campbell and her husband Maurice Campbell have been living with lupus for 32 years, collectively. The disease is a costly reality, which the couple say has been more manageable with the support from the National Health Fund (NHF).

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, otherwise known as lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of the body. Persons living with lupus are prone to developing other chronic illnesses as the condition causes the body’s immune system to attack healthy tissues.

Nicole’s journey with lupus started in 2007, two years before her husband’s. Over time, both of them developed additional chronic illnesses, making their livelihood even more expensive.

“The hardest part of my journey is my liver being affected. It causes me to feel a lot of pain, especially since I am also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I am in pain daily,” Nicole lamented.

“Lupus, unfortunately, has affected my kidney. Both of them are not working now so I have to be on dialysis. I think the kidney failure is the hardest part,” Maurice said.

These complications increase the couple’s dependence on costly medications. They shared, however, that being NHF beneficiaries has made the financial burden lighter.

“On a daily basis, the expenditure is enormous so to know that there is an entity that can reduce the cost of medication is a really big help,” Maurice said.

His wife echoed his sentiments.

“I can get medication almost for free! It was great when the NHF started covering medication for lupus.”

In spite of the challenges, the couple had something positive to share.

“The best part is that I am still alive. If you have lupus, know that you are not in it alone. Talk to people who are going through a similar situation; their experience can enlighten yours. It is not the end so live positively and think positively,” Maurice encouraged.

The Campbells are both members of the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica from which they have been receiving much-needed support on their journey.

October is observed annually as Lupus Awareness Month. The NHF has joined in bringing more visibility to this life-altering disease, and seeks to emphasise the assistance offered to Jamaicans living with lupus, which was added to the list of conditions covered by the Fund in 2019. Eighteen active pharmaceutical ingredients are offered for the treatment of the disease.

If you or a loved one is living with lupus, apply for the NHF card today to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. For more information on lupus subsidies, visit the NHF’s website at www.nhf.og.jm or call at 876-906-1106.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com