Beautiful Butterfiles

by Terry Watson | November 11th, 2011
Keva Napper

Keva B. Napper ( Photo by Keva B. Napper)

Keva Brooks Napper is on a personal crusade to inform and raise awareness about a disease that many don’t know much about. A native of Greensboro, Napper became very ill and started losing her hair in 2003. After a series of tests, she was diagnosed with SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus).

Lupus is an incurable disease autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s immune system. Ninety percent of people diagnosed with lupus are women, and the disease is three times more common in African American women and other populations. The disease often starts between the ages of 15 and 44, the childbearing years. Lupus is hard to diagnose and differs from person to person. Having lupus can cause emotional stress and requires a healthy diet along with exercise.

The road ahead for Napper was challenging as she adjusted to medicines and obtaining information on the disease. In 2004, while sitting in church, she had a grand mal seizure. Before the day was over, she suffered at least four grand mal seizures and was admitted to the intensive care unit. The next day, doctors told her that she had 2 blood clots on the brain, causing her to have a stroke. After 2 weeks, she was able to miraculously walk out of the hospital! No brain damage, no rehab needed, and no memory loss!
Napper was attending meetings at the Winston Triad Chapter of Lupus Foundation and getting a wealth of education; but still felt a void. This void led her to start Beautiful Butterflies, Inc., to incorporate family activities and events that would cater to minorities in the community and offer opportunities for sharing of ideas that would be beneficial to those diagnosed with Lupus as well as their families and friends.

Beautiful Butterflies is a non-profit lupus foundation that has been in existence since January 2011. Our sole purpose is to provide support, services and education to those affected by lupus, primarily minorities. We want to pursue our mission through supporting individuals with lupus, their families, friends and caregivers; advocating for increased public and private sector support for research on lupus; heightening awareness of the impact and affects of lupus; and direct financial support to LFA to support research.

Founded in January 2011, Beautiful Butterflies, Inc. hosted its first Lupus Awareness Luncheon in the Piedmont Triad Area on February 19, 2011 with a sold out event with over 200 in attendance and many turned away due to capacity seating. Event partners included Dr. Shane Anderson, Geissler Baker, Arbonne International, Tie the Knot, Lupus Foundation of America- Winston/Triad Chapter, Damian Mills and Mills Auto Group, Womanly Journey, Cookie Lee, Celteabrations, Simply Soul, Full Time Fitness, Sweet Confectionery, Tia’s Flower Designs. North Carolina Senator Gladys Robinson co-sponsor of Senate Bill #60, which established the month of May as Lupus Awareness Month in the State of North Carolina was also in attendance.

Beautiful Butterflies, Inc. integrates education with events and activities that say a diagnosis of Lupus is not a death sentence, but the beginning of life. Many people see Lupus as the “hush-hush” disease. The mission of Beautiful Butterflies is to change how people view the disease and the diagnosis. A quote by William Blake states it precisely….”The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.” We HAVE to be willing to change if we are to see a “Metamorphosis of Love.”

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