I still can’t believe it but I wanted to say how incredible a person, Sharon Argwings-Kodhek, our Managing Trustee (Kenya), always will be remembered as. Sharon passed away after a long battle with Lupus, but not before she devoted herself to helping others, and so many others! This article explains her battle.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys and brain. Normally the body’s immune system makes proteins called antibodies, to protect the body against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign materials, but in an autoimmune disorder like lupus, the immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissues and directs attacks against itself causing primarily inflammation, pain, heat, redness, swelling and loss of function, internally and externally.

For most, lupus is a mild disease, for others, like Sharon, it can devastate. Yet despite everything, Sharon still found the time to give vital assistance to AVIF and our volunteers, establish lupus support groups and foundations and educate thousands. Through it all, she also brought up 2 incredible children, More and Amani.

I met Sharon ‘virtually’ in 2006 through a mutual friend and she instantly started to throw support my way, offering advice in how we could establish our network, providing support to volunteers, meeting them, offering orientations and much much more. AVIF has only grown into the global network it is because of the support and advice Sharon gave me all these years. 

I will miss her so much. She was one of those special friends that you could always rely on regardless of the distance or months or years that go inbetween “catch-ups”. I just can’t believe yet that I won’t be able to simply Skype her or send a text but I am so proud to have known her for even such a small part of her short life. Rest In Peace now, my friend and know that thanks to you, thousands can get the treatment they need, know that Amani, too, will grow up to be a strong, intelligent woman, almost as incredible as your son, almost as incredible as You xxx

Ever the altruist