The Saline Courier Weekend
Local author pens book about faith in the face of Lupus
When M. Rosette Cleghorn of Bryant first received her diagnosis of Lupus nearly 30 years ago, she had never heard of the disease before.
“I had probably heard the word ‘Lupus’ before, but I didn’t know what it was,” Cleghorn said. “It was all Greek to me.”
Lupus is a chronic and complex autoimmune disease which can affect any part of the body, causing widespread inflammation and tissue damage in the affected organ.
The most commonly impacted areas are the joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys and blood vessels.
Cleghorn, 73, said she had been sickly since she was a young child, but had no idea what was wrong.
“They say Lupus is hereditary, but I don’t know who in my family would have had it,” she said.
Since her diagnosis in 1994, Cleghorn has had a constant battle with the disease, the first 15 years being the worst.
“When I became ill, I had no idea what was happening to me or how to handle it. There was little known about the disease and less in print,” she said.
When her battle with Lupus began, Cleghorn started keeping a journal of her experiences because she found herself having trouble with her memory.
One of the effects of Lupus was vasculitis, which affected her ability to recall things. “I barely knew my husband and son, the vasculitis affected my brain.”
She still requires the use of oxygen sometimes, and recently had a heart attack, another side effect of Lupus.
A few years ago, Cleghorn said she began to feel compelled to write a book of memoirs on how God’s grace and strength was her lifeline during her battle with Lupus.
“I went back to those journals so I could tell my story the way it was, so people would know what it is like fighting Lupus,” she said.
In 2022, she finished the book, titled “Lupus: God’s Grace is Sufficient,” which was published by Kencade Publishing.
“My goal is that those people with any kind of disease, whether it be a connective tissue disease, auto-immune disease, or anything in life that plagues your body – you think there is no way out of, there is always help.”
Cleghorn is still battling the disease, but she said now that the first book is published, she is starting to write the second installment.
She had wanted to write the book earlier, but when her husband, Rodney, passed away in 2011 at the age of 65 she put off the project. For a while, the memories that looking back stirred up were too painful. But over time, she was able to
return to writing.
As a new author, Cleghorn said she is looking forward to participating in events where she can get her story out to the public. The first event is the Norma Springer Memorial Lupus Springers 5K and Walk to End Lupus, which will be held May 20 in
Hot Springs. The event supports the Lupus Foundation of Arkansas. For information on the 5K, call 501-525-9380 or 800-294-8878.
The other event is an Author’s Showcase being
planned by the Saline County Library, which is scheduled for July
29, the final day of the library’s Summer Reading Challenge, in Benton. The Author’s Showcase is still in the planning stage, she said, but it will feature several local authors as well as vendors.
Cleghorn said she hopes her story inspires readers in their struggles.
“I wanted to present a Christian perspective, and I want people to see that God is there to help them get through,” Cleghorn said. “If it hadn’t been
for my faith, I don’t know that I would have gotten through it. I was totally dependent on God.”
She said the title of her book says it all.
“God’s grace is sufficient,” Cleghorn said.
Her book, “Lupus: God’s Grace is Sufficient” is available on Amazon. com or by contacting Cleghorn at PO Box
946, Bryant, AR 72089. Hardcover copies are $22.99 and paperbacks are $14.99. Add $3 for shipping, and if you would like a signed copy, just let the author know.