Take It With A Smile

By  | 

"Ellason, she was diagnosed with lupus March 17th, 2005. It was quite a blow to the family. She's a beautiful person. It's been a really hard time for her."
Joan Kennedy, is Ella Eastwood's mom.
She says her daughter teaches everyone that life can always present positive challenges.

Ella Eastwood is a fifth grader at Moss Elementary School, in Sparks, and like most students she says it can get a little difficult.
"The math is kind of hard, but I think it's fun... better than the third grade, but not as good as the fourth."

Though she may be a little picky about her classroom experience, because of the lupus, she turns down pizza and popcorn with a smile.
And, her mother says, she makes sure others understand why.
"Lupus is a very quiet disease. Not much is known about it. A lot of people don't talk about it. She wants to let people be aware and know and share her experiences."

Lupus is a lifelong autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack your tissue and organs.
Ella already has chemotherapy treatments because the disease started to attack her kidneys last year.

"I have to take a blood test or I have to go to Oakland to get an IV on me."
"What that's like?"
"Torture... because they have to poke my veins and my veins are really tiny and when they finally get it in, it hurts bad."

Despite the pain, her mother says she'll show off the pricks and bruises and explain what it all means and that it is not contagious.
"She's very strong and open about her disease. She wants a lot of awareness about it."