From running races to walking with a cane La Crosse man calls Lu - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

From running races to walking with a cane La Crosse man calls Lupus the silent disease

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

Imagine being told you couldn't do the one thing you love to do anymore.

Richard Chrz says being diagnosed with Lupus makes him angry.

"It's angry in the belief system that you were given as a child in that you do everything right and life will take care of you...and then this happens and then you realize it's all bunk," said Chrz.

In 2009 Richard finally had an answer and a name to what as wrong with him but that didn't help things.  Lupus is an autoimmune disease that attacks healthy cells and tissue in the body causing chronic pain and fatigue.

"In some of my worst flares there were times where I didn't know who I was.  I was falling down all the time and I was almost walking with a walker. I mean running going from eight hours to a person who couldn't walk across a parking lot.  All of a sudden I start seeing yellow patches over you or my vision. You start bouncing in my vision or I'm getting electrocuted all throughout my body...from my brain through my toes I'll have electricity going through me," said Chrz.

People with Lupus often end up suffering in silence, living for the good days which become less frequent.

"Lots of people I know that have it won't tell anyone they have it because they don't look sick and it is incurable and it's maybe something someone would look upon and say do we really need that person at our place of employment if we can't count on them," said Chrz.
There is no cure for Lupus and no perfect treatment that relieve symptoms.

"Be kind because they don't look sick.  You can't turn them inside and out and see their heart is failing and they're going to dialysis three times a week because their kidneys have shut down," said Chrz.  

Richard says while Lupus brings a lot of bad stuff it does have one positive.

"It has rechecked myself and what is important to me in life.  I don't take little things for granted. I don't sweat about little things.  I don't worry about what's going to happen three days from now so much. I enjoy the moment I'm in because it's the only moment I can live in," said Chrz.

The Local Lupus Alliance is hosting the 4th Murder Mystery Theater event Saturday, March 25 at the La Crosse Country Club.  Tickets are $60.00 for food and an interactive theater experience. Sales close at noon Friday, March 24.  

For more information go to

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