Anastasia Daniels leads a recent balloon release during a walk she started to help raise awareness about Lupus disease.

Anastasia Daniels, 19, of Thomson, was first diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease, last September. Just months into living with Lupus, she recently organized an awareness walk.

Family members and friends gathered Saturday evening, May 16, at White Oak Park to show support for Daniels and others with Lupus. She led the event, which featured a ballon release and a six-lap walk. Surrounded by supporters dressed in purple “Walking for Ana” shirts, the 19-year-old led them through warm up exercises before they all joined together for the walk.

Daniels lives in Thomson now and attended Thomson High School until moving to Augusta in 2016. She graduated from Glenn Hills High School.

The teen first learned she had Lupus last fall.

“I was feeling real tired and sleepy, so I went to sleep and I ended up seizing in my sleep,” she said.

She was rushed to the hospital, where doctors found her kidneys were leaking.

“I had to do a biopsy and it came back, when they did the biopsy, that I had Lupus naproxen in the kidneys — which is stage 5 kidney disease, which is kidney failure,” she said.

In December she found out she had Lupus in her skin.

As her fight against Lupus moves forward, she tries to raise awareness.

“It’s based off your immune system and your joints,” she said. “You basically deal with a lot of tiredness, soreness, swelling, and it can cause inflammation anywhere in your body. It will attack your organs.”

She is not alone in facing Lupus. She has several cousins and an aunt with Lupus.

“Basically I just wanted to get together and do something that they’ve never done,” Daniels said, as far as why she wanted to organize the awareness walk.

She loves working with children and is employed at a day care in Augusta, however she has not be able to work lately.

“I try to work but due to the coronavirus I can’t work because I work at a day care. They feel like it’s too many germs for my immune system,” she explained.

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