Ousted from Paralympics for Having Lupus

In Features, Letters To The Editor, We Hear Ya! by Our Readers

I am from Melbourne, Australia and I am absolutely devastated because I have recently been diagnosed with lupus.

The physical pain is hard enough, and my treatments include steroids, pain killers, anti-inflammatories and anti-malarials.

I am a professional horse rider and coach, but now, because of the drugs I cannot compete in competitions, and with all my hospitalisations for heart problems associated with lupus, I naturally applied to ride with Riding for Disabled with a view to Paralympics.

However they tell me there is no classifications for lupus in Paralympics. Surely if you are considered ‘unfit’ for ‘normal’ Olympics, then the paralympic system I thought would have welcomed you with open arms.

I am totally devastated. This means if I can’t compete, I can’t promote, and I would have to sell everything. Give up, sell my horses, sell

my farm, sell everything I have taken so many years to establish. I can’t believe either one or the other won’t welcome me.

I would be SO SO GRATEFUL if anyone has heard of a paralympian with lupus, or can give me any information, or anything you can do to me, or somewhere you can steer me.

Colleen Kelly, Melbourne, Australia