[R-G] Natives and Lupus and related matters
hunterbadbear at earthlink.net
Tue Feb 24 10:59:53 MST 2004
It certainly seems clear enough via various studies that Native people --
Indians, Aleuts, Eskimos [Innu] -- are especially vulnerable to Lupus. [I
and many others certainly see Chicanos as essentially Indian people -- but
some analytical compilations seem confusing on this point, very regrettably
leaving Chicanos in a kind of limbo.] In some studies, data suggest the
Native Lupus rate is 10 times higher than the Anglo rate [or at the very
least 3 to 5 times higher] and considerably higher as well than that of
Blacks and Asians, themselves with a Lupus rate much higher than that of
A recent letter from a former student of mine, now back on her home
reservation -- Standing Rock Sioux, south of Bismarck, ND -- indicates two
of her cousins are seriously ill with Lupus. One has nearly died. A call
yesterday from another former student and close friend, who lives on the
Turtle Mountain Chippewa [Ojibway] Reservation in Northern ND, reports that
the daughter of another good friend, himself a nationally known Indian poet
[White Earth Chippewa from Western Minnesota] who is now teaching at
Michigan State University, probably has Lupus -- though it may not have been
definitively diagnosed at this point. The father -- the poet -- who I have
known well for a quarter century, and who is also a good friend of John III
[Beba], will be calling me very soon indeed. Again, the Federal agencies
are spending little on the Lupus situation generally -- lethal as it can
often be -- especially where minorities are involved.
In this general Pocatello/Eastern Idaho region, it seems fairly clear that
my own serious Lupus situation has had at least the saving grace of
educating and sensitizing many about the existence and nature of the
mysterious disease. Frankly, most doctors I initially encountered seemed to
know little or nothing about Lupus -- and took several long weeks to effect
a firm diagnosis. When it was finally made, it came fairly quickly from a
top flight regional cancer specialist to whom I'd been sent, presumably on
the basis that I had a form of blood cancer [though no doctors told me that
at that point.] When he [Mike Francisco] eliminated cancer via a bone marrow
test and a cat scan, he certainly to his eternal credit did not abandon
me -- we had quickly become good friends --but doggedly pursued a realistic
diagnosis and emerged with the worst form of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
It would be interesting to learn the Lupus situation with respect to Aleut
and Eskimo people -- and related folk -- on the Siberian side of the Bering
Straits. I'd also be quite interested in African and Cuban statistics.
Eldri, who is of very substantial Saami/Lapp and Finnish background, wonders
about Lupus in those settings.
My grandson/son, Thomas -- now going formally into Medicine -- has been
present at almost all medical sessions involving me and is certainly quite
interested and knowledgeable about Lupus!
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR] Micmac/St Francis Abenaki/St Regis Mohawk
When you cut to the bone and cut away the college degrees, academic and
other titles, published books and articles, ours is essentially a working
class and Indian family. We consistently join unions -- and we always
support them with the greatest vigor.
It's critical to always keep fighting -- and to always remember that, if one
lives with grace, he/she should be prepared to die with grace.
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