Lafina Phillips Speaks Out On Lupus
It was about 3 years ago when I woke up and my left arm was in severe pain, the pain was so bad, I thought that I had broken it while I was sleeping. I also noticed that I had red rashes on my chest and neck and I didn’t know how it happened. I continued to go back and forth to my primary doctor for about a year and a half, and all of my blood tests kept coming back normal. I would get dizzy from time to time and experience periods of hot flashes in addition to the other unexplained symptoms I was having. I got to a point where I had no energy to do anything, and some mornings I would wake up so stiff and in pain that I would literally pray and go back to sleep because It literally hurt to move. Although I was going through this hardship, whenever I did have the energy and strength I would use it pursue my dream as a model at that time. My first experience on the runway was April 15, 2015 during the Ms. Theresa Miss Full Figured USA 2015 pageant where I won the rising star award. Immediately after the pageant I opened my own boutique “La Beautique”. La Beautique started off as a shapewear company where I consulted and helped women achieve the desired look they wanted while wearing their clothes.
In August of 2015 I had to undergo an emergency abdominal surgery which triggered a lupus flare up unbeknownst to me. After that I was in and out of the hospital for 6 months battling lupus in addition to having two more surgeries on my abdomen, one being open surgery.
During that 6-month period I no longer want to pursue modeling or anything in that matter. I only wanted to see the next day. I went completely off the radar. January 2016 I was back to work as a case manager and I started pursuing my career in fashion; by this time I decided that I no longer wanted to be a model; I wanted to be involved in the creative aspect of it, I wanted to paint the full picture. Knowing I can fall ill at any time I wanted to achieve as much as possible while my body allowed me to. I started volunteering at different shoots as a stylist, my true passion as well as designing and selling clothing from my boutique.
Since then I have obtained the position of assistance production/model coordinator for UBM FASHION WEEK2017. I am the cover stylist for Ms. Tawana Blassingame’s Queen Size Magazine. I am a stylist/creative director for Full Blossom Magazine and creative director for Idare Magazine. I have been published as a model, designer, stylist, and writer all within a year’s time since being hospitalized. I have good days and I have some bad days but both days I thank God for the blessing of seeing both. Lupus is a battle I refuse to lose. As long as I am able bodied to continue my passion that is exactly what will be done.
Full article and interview can be found in our May 2017 issue