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Praise and Raise Lupus Gospel Concert participant |

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Praise and Raise Lupus Gospel Concert participant
Praise and Raise Lupus Gospel Concert participant






















From Page One




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The concert begins at 6 p.m. at First Church of the Nazarene, 3804 Central Ave.

Featured on the program are the Rev. Anthony "A.T." Jordan, of Texarkana, Texas, a recording artist who has released four CDs, and Billy Miller and The Mes­sengers, of Little Rock.

Performers will include New Beginning Apostolic Church Choir and Singers, Ann Grimm, The Mimes and Ashley Watson of Greater St. Paul Baptist Church, and Zion Watch Puppet Ministry, of  El Dorado.

Leo Castleberry will serve as master of ceremonies.

No tickets will be sold but an offering will be received.

Jamesetta Smith, president of the Arkansas chapter of Lupus Foundation of America, says from her own experiences with lupus, sometimes "I have to keep a smile on my face to keep from crying. It's a cruel mystery disease be­cause we don't look sick"

Smith says it's "unpredict­able. You can be feeling fine one minute and sick the next, it's so strange. People need to realize how serious this is."

Middleton and Smith are like many lupus patients who may outwardly look "fine" to everyone else but suffer in silence from the disease.

At times patients' "flares" or unpredictable bouts with the dis­ease, can last days, weeks and even months and can be triggered by the environment, sunlight, stress medication, pregnancy and other illnesses.

"I have been through so much," Middleton said.

"I have had hip surgery, I have had heart surgery, six feeding tubes, and so many things that have gone wrong internally when the iipus affected my internal organs. I got really, really sick for a long time."

To make matters worse, two years ago, Middleton survived a bad accident when the horse she was riding spooked, reared up and fell back on her. She was airlifted to the trauma unit at UAMS.

Her back was broken in four places and other bones were crushed. She was paralyzed for a time and was told she might never walk again. But she is walk­ing now and looking forward to a full recovery.


Excerpts from article writen by Alison Harbour of The Sentinel-Record Newspaper from Sunday, March 31, 2013.