PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The coronavirus vaccine can leave you with minor aches and pains, but what if it left you bedridden for two weeks? That’s what happened to Chastity Corbett.
Still, she making plans to get another shot. She is immunocompromised and needs the protection against the coronavirus.
“I know I’m going have to get the booster and whatever comes after that just to make sure I’m protecting myself and others,” said Corbett who, since 2005, has survived pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, two strokes, meningitis, and epilepsy.
It’s bothersome, says Corbett, when someone remarks “You don’t look sick.”
Corbett is taking no chances with the deadly coronavirus.
Her immune system is attacking virtually every organ in her body.
For Jones, fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disease, forced her to leave a career she loved: the United States Navy.
“I was devastated because that was my life. To have to leave something that you love so much is life-altering within itself,” said Jones, who for more than 10 years has suffered from widespread pain and bouts of depression and anxiety.
The cause of lupus is unknown and many of the patients are women of color. Four million Americans have fibromyalgia and, again, most of the patients are women.
Now, Corbett, Jones, and their Social Butterflies Foundation are working to spread information through specialty license plates.
The conditions often leave patients in physical and financial ruin.
“You got survivors who can’t afford their medications… or they don’t have coverage at all because they are not working [due to illness]. It takes a long time to get [Social Security] disability [benefits] and then you have to wait two years for the medial portion,” said Corbett, who estimates the cost of care for the average patient is $21,000 a year — leaving many patients in these pandemic days struggling to pay for food, clothing, and shelter.
That’s where the foundation comes in. If 900 license plate preorders are placed before the end of the year, the Virginia General Assembly could consider the sale of the plates. A portion of the plate fee will be turned over to the foundation.
“Part of Social Butterflies is we are trying to make sure that we are able to assist survivors and their families,” said Corbett.
To preorder a specialty license plate to help lupus and fibromyalgia patients, check out www.SocialButterfliesFoundation.org/DMV/plates.
Former sailor Jones encourages the vaccine-hesitant to roll up their sleeves to protect themselves and others who may have an autoimmune disorder.
“I say get it [the vaccine] because you never know what’s going on with the person that’s sitting next to you,” said Jones.