Skip to Main Content
Sign in to myUHN Patient Portal

Researchers have dedicated their careers to helping lupus patients

Main Page Content

Researchers have dedicated their careers to helping lupus patients
Christina Girgenti

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Christina Girgenti, ​with her son Charlie, was diagnosed with lupus 14 years ago and is now symptom-free.​

​​Autoimmune disease affects one in 1,000 Canadians and primarily strikes women of child-bearing age

Christina Girgenti was 21 years old when she got the diagnosis that would change her life. She had been experiencing painfully inflamed joints and extreme fatigue, and blood tests revealed the cause: lupus. It was a disease she knew little about.

"When I was diagnosed, I had no idea of the severity of the illness," says Christina, now 35. "It was very painful. It was debilitating. I was very limited in what I could do."

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects one in 1,000 Canadians and primarily strikes women of child-bearing age. Because lupus can attack any tissue in the body, the symptoms can vary from case to case, and may include headaches, painful joints, skin rashes, mouth ulcers, fatigue, fever and many others. In addition, the inflammation caused by lupus can attack organs such as the brain, the lungs and the heart. In Christina's case, her lupus flare-ups affected her kidneys. ​