About the woman..

My name is Ashley Callender.

I was born on April 12, 1986 in Flint, Michigan. I am a wife and a mother of two boys. I am a full time healthcare worker. In 2014, I was diagnosed with SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), sjogren’s syndrome, and pseudotumor cerebri. Managing my life and my illnesses are a constant battle.

A battle that I will not lose.

Why the wolf?


I guess because I don’t care for butterflies that much. So, I am embracing my inner wolf because it’s going to be with me my whole life. Here’s an explanation I found on a website that does use the wolf as a representation of SLE.

“So why exactly do you keep hearing us talk about “confronting a wolf?”  Why do you see a wolf all over our website, our thank-you notes, and everything else associated with the organization?  Surprisingly enough, it is not just because I happened to like the animal.  Technically, Lupus is the Latin word for “wolf,” but its history and connection with the disease runs a little deeper than that.

Records of symptoms of this disease go back all the way to about 400 BC – 100 AD, but the disease itself was not technically named until the 13th century.  The term “Lupus” was coined because of a rash on the face (the butterfly rash) common to many Lupus patients.  The rash resembled the bite of a wolf.  In the Middle Ages, it is said that some people were even suspicious that victims of Lupus had become werewolves.

Although people do not think of Lupus patients as werewolves any longer, people affected by this chronic illness may still fall victim to the misconceptions of their peers.  Since Lupus is primarily a women’s disease, and since it usually does not take effect on one’s outward appearance, many people can be accused of overreacting and complaining about something that “just is not that big of a deal.”  The Lupus community has been misunderstood and the disease underestimated for thousands of years.

The term “Lupus” is also suitable for the disease because this disease, like a wolf, is fierce and unexpected.  It can attack any part of the body without warning and can even be fatal.  Many organizations primarily focus on the Lupus symbol, the butterfly, but The Lupus Endeavor decided to go a different route.  We don’t want people to think of Lupus as a peaceful, delicate thing for one second.  Nothing about it would lead you to that conclusion in reality.  No, Lupus needs to be seen for what it really is, and the wolf does the best in ultimately portraying the truth to the public.

So why the wolf?  How about a better question: Why would you ever try describing Lupus without it?” (http://www.thelupusendeavor.org/wp/2013/05/01/why-the-wolf/)


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