Anyone out there ever heard of Toastmasters, the worldwide organization dedicated to helping people become more competent and comfortable speaking in front of an audience? I've never had the pleasure of participating in the organization, but my husband has been a member (and a successful one at that!) for several years running. And, as he's done in the past, he saved an article out of a recent issue of the Toastmaster magazine because he thought it might be of interest. Turns out, in 2008, the coveted Toastmaster World Champion of Public Speaking was none other than LaShunda Rundles, speaker and lupus patient extraordinaire.
Diagnosed when she was a senior in high school, she's endured more than 20 surgeries and countless hospital stays over the years. Her fight against lupus continues today, but she's working hard to educate and enlighten people about the disease, often through her speaking.
What I found most interesting is that she feels that being able to speak clearly and candidly with her doctors has been essential - a real benefit of perfecting her speaking skills. She says, " Sometimes a doctor gives you an answer that's just not thorough enough, and you really need to know more. You have to be assertive." In fact, she believes that she was able to prevent an unnecessary surgery at one point because she was assertive and questioned the original plan of action.
She encourages other lupus patients to" Speak up and ask questions. When you get answers, make sure you're completely comfortable with the advice you receive." Well said, Ms. Rundles!
For more about this accomplished fellow lupite, click here to read the entire article.