Who is Tracy Darden?

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I Choose to Live...


My name is Tracy Darden and I am a LUPUS THRIVER.

 

A thriver is a person who sees opportunity, success and prosperity. I am living my life with endless possibilities. Even though I am diagnosed with lupus, I choose to live…and my goal is to help you to live your life more abundantly.

 

Here is my story…

 

In 2006, my life and lupus collided together. I knew something was wrong because I felt intense fatigue and I had lost my appetite. This feeling escalated quickly to the point that I temporarily lost vision in my left eye. My doctor soon prescribed an intense regimen of medication that caused my body to have every side effect with each drug. I honestly felt hopeless…my body was rejecting the treatments and I didn’t have anywhere to turn. I felt like my life was over and that these drugs were crippling my health even more.

 

For five months, I was on a high dosage of steroids; I felt druggy and delusional -- a feeling similar to morning sickness. I knew I needed a change and my husband, Miles Darden, reached out to our family friend, Donna Nealy, owner and physical fitness coach of Esteem – A Total Transformation. My body was thin as a rail, my hair was falling out and I didn’t feel like myself. I was going through depression and I just wanted Tracy back.

 

Through the assistance of Donna Nealy, I started to wean myself off my medication, I changed my eating habits, I started working out and I chose a holistic approach to conquer my lupus symptoms. I currently use herbal remedies to support my immune health by drinking elderberry tea; and for fluid buildup and inflammation, I use oregano oil and dandelion capsules.

 

Some of my lupus symptoms I currently deal with:

  • Swollen eyes, throat and lips

  • Swollen feet and knees

  • Swollen hands and shoulders

  • Swollen lymph nodes that cause lumps in breast (mammograms are necessary)

  • Fluid around heart and kidney (that causes protein build-up in my urine)

  • Dry mouth

  • Heavy menstrual cycles
     

Now that I have my life under control, I have taken my new-found energy to empower women through health and wellness workshops and fitness support groups through my nonprofit organization, the Live Life Foundation. In addition, my husband and I use the power of photography as a lifestyle movement to raise awareness about lupus through fashion and beauty.

 

Since 2012, the Live Life Foundation has raised more than $12,000 for lupus research through bi-annual charity fashion shows such as Inspirational Flow (2012), The Suite Life (2014), and Beauty Beyond the Look (2017).

I believe through my journey that my life’s purpose is to help people live a better life and I stand on my healing knowing that…”By His Stripes I Am HEALED.” (Isaiah 53: 4-5)