My Story: Ashley

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I was working with first-grade teachers and students while also pursing my bachelor’s degree in human services to better myself and family.

I started having lots of fatigue, hair loss, and red spots all over my fingers and toes. I was in and out of the hospital. It was doctor appointments back to back until one day I went to my appointment with a dermatologist.

I will never forget it! He looked at me and said, "Girl, you have lupus!" Next, he sent me over to a rheumatologist to confirm it. I was diagnosed in August 2007, months after I started having symptoms of lupus SLE.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

Lupus has changed my life tremendously. Every day life is different – the way I eat, exercise, handle stress, dress, etc. Lupus has slowed me down and has caused me to delay some things in my life. However, I have not quit striving to reach my goals and dreams!

Who has been there for you? How?

My family and friends are awesome! Especially my husband, children, and grandmother. They truly motivate me to do better and to reach my goals. My mother and church family has also helped in times of needs with taking car of the children and house-whole.


What's your advice to someone else living with Lupus?

Lupus is an ugly disease that can change every aspect of your life. However, lupus does not get the victory! Keep faith in God and know that everything will be okay.

I have not quit striving to reach my goals and dreams!

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I have continued my education by achieving my bachelor’s degree in human services. I also have one class left this summer to complete my master’s in human services with a specialization as a family life educator.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I have continued my education by achieving my bachelor’s degree in human services. I also have one class left this summer to complete my master’s in human services with a specialization as a family life educator.

My family and friends are awesome!

My family and friends are awesome!

Is there anything else we should know?

On March 4, 2009 my family grew with the birth of a little girl. She was our miracle baby, born one month early but healthy as can be. Now I have a family of five including me that I am dedicated to in every way! My family is truly a blessing! I have been happily married for over 12 years and I have three beautiful children.

On January 16, 2014 I had a kidney biopsy done. I went into the hospital as a out-patient. The doctor accidentally hit a vital artery causing much bleeding and complication.

Unfortunately, I had to stay in the hospital for over two weeks and on top of that began dialysis. A few months later my cousin found out what happened to me. He immediately asked to get tested to see if he was a match before I could even ask anyone. He was a perfect match. He is the father of two beautiful little girls. We will have the procedure on May 27, 2015 at Baylor All Saints in Fort Wort, Texas.

I have not allowed this challenge or lupus to defeat me. I have become a stronger person and I am able to share my story of how having lupus has in many ways helped me to help others get through very difficult and challenging times. I believe my experiences in life has helped shaped me into the person I am today.

Wilkens and Sanford stated the following: “My actions manifest the subterranean influence of my self-understanding, my convictions and my values. Things that happen to me and around me, many of them beyond my immediate control, provide the setting for my story.” My journey in life has molded me into the person I am today however; I am greatly influenced by God and his will for my life.

About Ashley

My Story: Ashley

I was born and raised in Lubbock Texas and raised by my grandparents in a Christian home. My grandmother has influenced me the most. She has taught me to never give up or let the challenges that you may encounter keep you from succeeding.

I enjoy spending time with my family. I am happily married to my husband of over 12 years and we have three beautiful children, Zamarkas (13 years old), Zaebrieauna (9 years old), and Zyriel (6 years old). We also have a pet shih tzu named Zatch. I enjoy working with young children and helping others.

Ashley Hawkins Kidney Donor Fund

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