‘Let’s go to war:’ Lubbock woman to host awareness event amid Lupus battle

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Lubbock woman says every day of her life is a battle, but she’s blessed to be alive to fight it. Shameka Butler is hosting an event this weekend to raise awareness about lupus, the autoimmune disease she’s fought for a decade.

“Finally, the doctor said lupus. I’m like, ok, give me a pill. And he was like, ma’am, there’s no cure. And that right there is life changing,” Butler said.

Butler had never even heard of lupus when she was diagnosed. The disease causes your immune system to attack your own tissues and organs.

“My case unfortunately attacks my lungs. It’s only in my lungs, that’s what causes the oxygen [she said, gesturing toward her tank], so that cuts off a lot of movements and a lot of just, from walking from point A to point B. I get so tired. So, that’s where the transplant come in,” Butler said.

Butler is in a transplant program at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in Dallas, where she travels every two months for treatment. She’s headed there for another procedure on Memorial Day weekend. She says she’s still got some work to do before she’s eligible for a lung transplant.

“But I still get up, I thank God for it, and I just put on my shield and I just be ready for whatever,” Butler said. “I have my moments, don’t get me wrong. I have my moments where I want to go in the corner and just cry and ask God why, but I just know I’m here for a purpose.”

Butler believes part of her purpose is sharing her story with others. That’s why she hosted her first event for Lupus Awareness Month five years ago.

Every May, she raises money for her care and tells others about the ‘silent killer.’

“I just wanna let people know, don’t be afraid. Go to the doctor and see what’s going on with you, get help,” Butler said.

The theme for this year’s event is AWOL Against Lupus, and she’s asking everyone to wear camo and bring water guns, since she fights every day.

While donations are encouraged, Butler says just showing up is half the battle.

“Even if it’s a dollar and if you don’t have the money, just come out and just let me see your face. It’s not even about the coins,” Butler said. “Just come out and support me just by being there. Throw your camouflage on. Put your black under your eyes and let’s go to war.”

AWOL Against Lupus is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, at Maxey Park near 19th and Quaker. There will be water gun fights, tug-of-war, sack races, an obstacle course, and prizes.

The Butler family will be selling t-shirts there to help pay for medical treatments. You can also find those on her Facebook page.

To help support the Butler family, donate to Shameka’s CashApp account - $Victorious2013, or her Venmo account - @Shameka-Butler-2.