The Edmond Sun

Local News

May 19, 2010

Santa Fe musicians ‘band’ together for lupus cure

EDMOND — Her easy smile lit up her face as she talked with enthusiasm about her music students, but for Rebecca Coleman that smile belied the pain she lives with daily.

In 1985 at the age of 17, Coleman was diagnosed with Raynaud’s Phenomenon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

In 1995 Dr. Craig Carson with the Oklahoma Arthritis Center in Edmond diagnosed her with lupus. When diagnosed Coleman said she thought she was too young to get something like lupus.

In lupus, the immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between foreign substances, such as viruses or bacteria, and the body’s healthy tissue, according to information from the Lupus Foundation. The result is the production of autoantibodies that attack healthy tissue.

“When I was diagnosed it was scary,” Coleman said. “I did a lot of research because I like to look up information and study, and I found out with the correct diet and the proper medication, I can make it through the day.”

At this time Coleman is on a regimen of 20 pills a day including chemotherapy, and she recently started taking infusions.

“I am taking the infusions because I failed my last liver and kidney tests, but we are working on that,” she said.

“Lupus is one of those diseases where you don’t look sick to other people,” Coleman said, although some days she finds it necessary to use a cane at school.

 “I can go to school and teach, but by the time I get home I start getting tired, and by 7:30 in the evening I am finished,” Coleman said.

When at home she operates out of her bedroom, saying weekends are the most difficult for her with laundry, the housework and keeping up with her children.

She and her husband Roland have two children, Raquel, who soon will turn 10, and Royce, who is an active 6-year-old. Both are students at Clegern Elementary School.

Despite her illness, Coleman, an Iowa native, graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in music and from the University of Oklahoma in 1995 with a master’s degree in instrumental conducting.

Coleman became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2006. “I love to learn,” she said. She has been a band director since 1989 and came to Summit Middle School in 1992 as band director. She has been one of the assistant band directors at Santa Fe High School since it opened in 1993.

Advocates for finding a cure for lupus, Coleman and her family, including her husband and her parents, have had blood work taken for extensive testing and research. She undergoes arthritis testing every six months to help find a cure or better medication for those who have lupus.

“In 50 years no new medicine has been found for lupus patients,” Coleman said. “There is a drug for lupus that is now in the test stages, and I look forward to being able to take it.”

You can see Rebecca wearing purple many days.

“The color purple represents lupus so I have adopted purple as one of my favorite colors to wear,” Coleman said.

For the past several years all of the Santa Fe Symphonic Band members have worn purple wrist bands that say, “Someone you know has lupus.” Sophomore Adrianna Doyal also made purple flower clips for each of the girls to wear during the spring band concert.

“This year the band surprised me with all of the girls wearing purple flowers in their hair to represent our ‘band’ against the battle of lupus,” Coleman said.

Ironically, Santa Fe’s school mascot is a wolf, one of two symbols associated with the disease of lupus. The other symbol is a butterfly.

The pattern of the rash that sometimes forms under the eyes of lupus patients looks like a butterfly, Coleman said.

Although some days Rebecca may be feeling down, she is never out.

“The students speak about her passion for music,” said Santa Fe Band Director Mike Lowery. “They recognize it and appreciate it.

“She is always on top of the game. She is upbeat with high expectations for her students and she gets the product she expects from them.”

Coleman said she leans on faith to get her through each day.

“I feel as if the only things that get me from one day to the next are faith in God, faith in my family and the unending support I receive from my students at both Summit Middle School and Santa Fe High School,” she said.

“They give me the strength to keep going and to never quit. At the end of the school year the Santa Fe students gave me a spa package to recoup.”

And it came just in time. June 5 Coleman plans to participate in the Lupus Walk at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

May is Lupus Awareness Month 2010. To learn more about lupus, go online at www.lupus.org.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Oak Tree Official offers glowing update on Senior Open

    An official who has been in charge of tournaments since 2001 said the 2014 U.S. Senior Open is probably the best city event partnership he has seen.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edmond soldier settles in housing benefits case

    U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats said Thursday a U.S. Army reserve soldier from Edmond has agreed to pay the government $20,000 to settle civil claims related to obtaining fraudulent housing benefits.

    April 17, 2014

  • Stevenson 1 Oklahoman returns home focused on pro-gay agenda

    Troy Stevenson remembers the day when football players discovered him and his boyfriend holding hands behind an Edmond high school. After they had been chased off school property, Stevenson, called to check on his boyfriend.
    “He was in hysterics,” Stevenson said. “… Like me, I thought he was scared. Did people see us? What would people think?”

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lawn Experts’ tips can help your lawn bounce back

    Chances are your lawn is looking a bit bedraggled after this rough winter.
    That’s not surprising. Between brutally cold temperatures and drying winds, turf took a beating this year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gracelawn grows larger

    The Edmond City Council voted 5-0 in favor of the city purchasing 20.5 acres of land immediately to the north of Gracelawn Cemetery. Purchasing the property is needed for future expansion of the cemetery, Mayor Charles Lamb, said.
    Gracelawn Cemetery is owned and operated by the city and is located on the northwest corner of Danforth and Boulevard.

    April 17, 2014

  • Warmth needed to grow tomatoes

    The time for those growing tomatoes in their garden is when the soil temperature is above 60°F and fear of frost has past. We are generally safe from frosts after April 5.  However, frosts have occurred as late as May 1 in the Oklahoma City area. If you planted your tomatoes on or before April 5 last year you would have covered them several times as there were several late frosts. If you plant early, be ready to cover your plants during nighttime frosts.

    April 17, 2014

  • Debate Senate hopefuls meet in first debate

     Accountability to the American people and the $17.5 trillion debt continues to be a major issue in the race for U.S. Senate office being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.
    The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee hosted a debate Wednesday for three of the seven Republicans running for the U.S. Senate seat that is being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma City FC invites fans to design club scarf

    Oklahoma’s top-tier soccer club, Oklahoma City FC, invites soccer fanatics across Oklahoma to be a part of its future by designing its scarf.
    Scarves are a tradition among soccer clubs and are typically a team’s most recognizable accessory. Scarves are a matter of pride for hard-core supporters and feature team colors, logo and inspiring slogans. Scarves are a part of a team’s identity.

    April 16, 2014

  • MS_injection well.jpg Agency clarifies earthquake-related misinformation

    A state agency says misinformation related to the debate about the cause of more earthquakes across Central Oklahoma includes oil well types, well numbers and injection pressure.
    The Prague sequence of 2011 along the Wilzetta Fault zone included a significant foreshock, a main shock of magnitude 5.7 and numerous aftershocks. It has been suggested that this sequence represents tremors triggered by fluid injection.
    More recently, earthquakes have been recorded in the vicinity of Jones, Arcadia Lake, Edmond, Guthrie, Langston and Crescent. Regulators and scientists are working together to better understand what’s causing all the shaking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff seeks items for agency history project

    If you have historic pictures or artifacts related to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the agency is asking the public to share them.
    “The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is working on a history project. If you, your family, friends or acquaintances have any old photos or artifacts related to the OCSO we would love to have them or a digital copy,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel.

    April 16, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video
Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results