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Teen blogs about living with Lupus

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WALTON COUNTY, Ga. -

A Walton County teen has found her voice and her mission on the internet blogging about living with a disease that doesn't usually affect teenagers.

McKayla Futral, 16, is battling Lupus. Blogging has helped McKayla take ownership of her illness and writing has opened a door to a much bigger world around her.

When McKayla was 10,  the strange symptoms began: lung infections, stomach problems, headaches, seizures.  It took four years for a rheumatologist to finally diagnose Lupus, an autoimmune disorder that usually hits women in their late 20s and 30s.

"When you have Lupus, you have a bad immune system, and it makes you really sick, all the time," said Futral.

At first, McKayla didn't want anyone to know she had Lupus.

"Because I felt like I would get judged, or people would say, 'Oh, she has something catching.'  And I have gotten that before, 'Do you have something catching?'  And I have to explain that it's not, it's just my body attacking myself," said Futral.

Earlier this year, McKayla started blogging about life with Lupus. She writes things such as managing all the medication..

And as McKayla finds her way, she's trying to help other people find theirs.

"Mostly it's just, 'Hey, have you ever tried this medicine?'  Or, 'Do you get this symptom? Are you on steroids right now?  Do they make you face puffy?'  I think for the most part, they ask questions so they can know that they're not alone," she said.

And blogging has helped McKayla feel less alone, too.

"I think it's changed my life because I can't wait to get home and do my next blog and tell people how I'm feeling today.  I just can't wait to get that next email so I can help somebody else," she said.

McKayla has only been blogging for a few months, but tries to post something each day.

To read McKayla's blog, visit: http://mckaylafutral.blogspot.com/

To learn more about Lupus, visit:  www.lupus.org.

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