There was no way of knowing it then, but one little blog started back in 2008 would soon become an award-winning website, nonprofit, and social community, reaching over 500 thousand people per month.
More than anything else, we want to create a sense of community for those with chronic illness and autoimmune diseases. It's the support Marisa craved but couldn't find when she was first diagnosed.
Knowing the facts and statistics of autoimmune is not the same as understanding the realities of it, so we strive to provide unfiltered education about all things living with autoimmune.
While we can't financially support every autoimmune warrior with medical expenses, we hope to help a few with our College Stipend Fund every year for college expenses.
Our founder and nonprofit team work tirelessly to enhance the lives of those affected by Lupus and overlap disease. Our heart is to find a variety of tangible resources that can somehow improve every day life, whether it is helping patients find a way to enhance mobility or decrease pain, advocate for themselves in the realm of medical care or employment, finding products and tools that help them better complete activities of daily living, funding educational endeavors, or connecting with other warriors across the world who can offer unique advice and tips for living their best life despite a chronic illness.
Lupus Chick was founded on the themes of connection, education, motivation, and inspiration. Today, as a large social community and nonprofit, we aspire to uplift patients, arming them with the resources, tools, and support they need so they can become the most dynamic version of themselves and positively influence the lives of others through their story and strength.
Marisa has made it her mission in life to help other autoimmune warriors survive and thrive, and she's been doing it for over 10 years.
Lupus Chick begins as a simple blog, named Lupus Survival Guide, on Blogger. There are less than a dozen lupus related websites at this time. An average of ten people a week read the blog during the first few months, and numbers begin to grow.
Marisa publishes Lupus Chick’s first book, Lupus: Real Life, Real Patients, Real Talk as a “Chicken soup for the soul-type-guide” for people newly diagnosed with the disease, featuring over 20 real-life stories and a variety of experiences.
In February of 2014, Marisa rebrands what is then known as Lupus Survival Guide into the Lupus Chick brand known today. With a new mission and vision, viewership (reach) grows over the next two years from 15K people per month to a steady high of 300K people per month!
Shortly before being titled Mrs. New York in the USA Universal Pageant, Marisa filed to officially make Lupus Chick a nonprofit in New York. During her 2015 reign, she worked with town, city and county officials on proclamations officially designating May each year as Lupus Awareness Month.
The Lupus Chick College Stipend Award Fund is also created, in which a student in college with an official lupus diagnosis can apply to receive the award, which can be used for books, tuition, housing, or medical expenses.
Working with government officials in her home state of New York, Marisa gets three proclamations passed under Lupus Chick, officially designating May as Lupus Awareness Month each year in the City of Rochester, Monroe County and the Town of Greece.
Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation’s Channel Kindness reporting platform writes a story on Lupus Chick with the help of reporter, Maria Mongiardo. Little do we know this story will be chosen to be featured in Lady Gaga’s Anthology that will publish in September of 2020.
Lupus Chick viewership reaches a steady 500K people per month!
Lupus Chick travels to deliver a keynote at UMASS Med School/The Lupus Foundation of New England’s Lupus Symposium, and a presentation to the PatientsLikeMe team.
Lupus Chick teams up with Coolibar to become an ambassador for their SPF protective clothing.
Lupus Chick teams up with Janssen Pharmaceuticals/J&J and The HealtheVoices Conference in Dallas to teach attendees how to turn your chronic illness story into a life-changing manuscript and story to change the lives of others.
Lupus Chick partners with The Lupus Foundation of New England as the organization’s new host to launch an interactive weekly episodic series called TILLY - The Interactive Lupus Link for You, which showcases different guests and experts each week discussing a wide variety of topics important to people with chronic illness.
Marisa’s memoir, Chronically Fabulous, will debut from Broadleaf Books on May 4, 2021, just in time for Lupus Awareness Month.