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Posted on February 07 2015

LEBANON, Mo. -- A southwest Missouri mom spreads her message after being diagnosed with a life-changing disease six years ago. It's estimated 5 million people suffer from this chronic disease across the world and about 16,000 are newly diagnosed with it each year. It impacts mostly women, between 15-44 years old. This mom wants to raise awareness for those stuck in the shadows. This mother of two looks normal on most days, but Savannah Knudston says that is far from true. "I started losing weight in extreme amounts. Vomiting every day, all day. I was losing my hair and I knew something was wrong,” says Knudston. Knudston was diagnosed with Lupus and Fibromyalgia in 2009. Since then, staying strong is the only thing she can do. "I'm a fighter and I always will be a fighter," she says. Knudston created a Facebook video Saturday. Within days, it's been viewed by almost 42,000 people and more than a 1,000 shares. "I hope to gain more fighters with me because I truly believe that together we can make the changes that these people deserve," says Knudston. Knudston says the impact it has on her life and her children is numbing. "I don't know if I'm going to be around five years from now. It kills me for them, what would they do without their mom and it makes me feel so guilty and Lupus is hereditary and if they end up with, I don't know if I could handle that." Mercy Rheumatologist, Dr. Stanley Hayes, says no one knows what causes Lupus or a cure. "With Lupus, you would truly never know what is coming next, when you are sick you are sick but when you are well, you don't know what is going to happen next." Knudston wants Lupus to be household knowledge like other diseases impacting millions. "I just want people suffering from these diseases to know they are not alone." She says no one should have to live day to day in pain. "I have to take medicine every day, my youngest is two years old. She sees mommy taking medicine and she thinks that is a way of life, she thinks that's what she is suppose to do," Knudston says. "So she's at my hip, crying for me to give her medicine." Since posting that viral video, Knudston created a website to share her story and give others the chance to share theirs.
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